- Social Climate Fund: Where to get the money?
- German solar plans could be thwarted by Xinjiang supply stop
- Battery regulation: Lemke calls for committed action
- HERA: EU countries secure right of co-determination
- IPCEI ME II: 20 countries, 90 companies, 1 happy EU commissioner
- Hydrogen: Commission approves German support program
- Zettelmeyer becomes new Bruegel director
- EP presidential election: Socialists to hear Metsola in January
- Opinion: Michael Niese, Wirtschaftsvereinigung Metalle – State aid trips Green Deal up
Olaf Scholz made his inaugural visit to Rome yesterday. There, the German Chancellor not only praised Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s competence but also agreed on a joint “action plan” for better cooperation, initially without giving details.
Who gets to discuss which parts of European climate policy is decided not least by Charles Michel. The President of the European Council put the energy crisis on the agenda of the heads of state and government, as he did at the summit last Thursday. The technical elements of the Fit for 55 package, on the other hand, are reserved for the less politically charged and technically experienced Environment Council.
Climate measures were also on the agenda there yesterday. Lukas Scheid took a closer look at how the member states want to cushion the social impact of European climate policy. But the financing is still largely unresolved. And some member states simply want less climate policy – then there would be no need for social compensation.
Following the meeting, European Commissioner for Environment Virginijus Sinkevičius revealed what the College of Commissioners will “most likely” deal with before the Christmas break: the delegated act on climate taxonomy. The confidential draft will then be submitted to experts for evaluation before the authority decides and publishes it. Read what this means for the Christmas plans of Olaf Scholz and the rest of us in Apéro.
On Wednesday, the authority is also expected to present the new climate and energy aid guidelines, known in the jargon as CEEAG. In today’s guest article, Michael Niese of the Wirtschaftsvereinigung Metalle explains why the competition authorities should not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
In any case, Germany’s and Europe’s climate targets will hardly be achievable without a massive expansion of solar energy. But this brings with it human rights problems, as the example of Xinjiang shows: From the region, where Beijing’s rulers brutally suppress the minority of the Uyghurs, comes about half of a raw material important for the production of solar panels. Nico Beckert has analyzed the trade-off between clean supply chains and clean sources of electricity.
Batteries should also become cleaner: The new Federal Minister of the Environment, Steffi Lemke (Greens), has called for an ambitious approach at EU level. Timo Landenberger explains what this means and how the goals are to be achieved.
Health is on everyone’s lips again these days – and the EU is also taking on a bigger role in the pandemic than it has been given so far by the member states. The new EU health authority Hera has now defined their rights to have a say, according to Eugenie Ankowitsch’s report.
In Brussels, he is considered influential, and now a successor has been found for Guntram Wolff, who is leaving in 2022, as head of the think tank Bruegel. It’s likely, but not yet clear, whether the Maltese Roberta Metsola will be the next president of the European Parliament. While the Liberals have already asked her for an interview, the Social Democrats in the EP have now announced a hearing for January – and among the Greens, a revolutionary mood is spreading.
Social Climate Fund: Where to get the money?
The Fit for 55 package presented by the EU Commission in July contains a proposal to minimize the negative impact of climate protection measures on the civilian population. The Social Climate Fund (SCF) aims to support vulnerable households and micro-enterprises whose livelihoods would be threatened by the measures taken.
The Commission wants to make €72.2 billion available for this purpose from 2025, financed by expanding the emissions trading system to include the buildings and transport sectors – also known as ETS 2. Thus, part of the profits from the sale of emission rights would go either as direct payments to private households or as investment aid for emission avoidance to companies. The idea behind investment subsidies: Those who avoid emissions save cash, as emissions become more expensive due to a CO2 price.
Financing of the climate social fund still questionable
In principle, the EU states agree that the social impact of climate policy must be kept as low as possible and that a support fund can achieve this. However, the Commission’s funding plans so far are bitterly resented by some member states. Extending the ETS to buildings and transport is not seen as the most popular part of the Fit for 55 package. Poland would prefer to scrap ETS 2 altogether. The government in Warsaw fears additional burdens for particularly vulnerable groups. However, Poland would like to have the climate social fund after all and demands that it not be linked to the revenues from ETS 2.