Press review

UFE/Press review of 02/11/18

Emmanuel Macron met French energy CEOs but postponed the presentation of the Pluriannual Energy Programming (PPE)
On October 24th, about 30 energy CEOs (Jean-Bernard Lévy, Patrick Pouyanné, Isabelle Kocher, Philippe Varin, Xavier Huillard…) and research organizations (CNRS, INRIA, CEA…) met at the Elysée Palace to discuss “the reduction of CO2 emissions stemming from the energy consumption, the control of energy bills of the French, the ‘made in France’ of new low-carbon technologies solutions and the sovereignty issue related to energy” said the Presidency. Benjamin Griveaux, spokesman of the French government also said on the same day that the Pluriannual Energy Programming (PPE) will be presented to the Council of Ministers by “late October – early November”.
Source: La Tribune, October 25th, 2018
The French Directorate for Energy and Climate (DGEC) draws conclusions on energy savings
In a summary of the steering committee of October 17th, the DGEC reported the “delay taken by France” on the European energy saving targets, that will need “to be caught up in the 4th period” of the energy efficiency certificates system between 2018 to 2022. The administration also stated that renewable heat had hardly “done the trick” of the “boost energy savings” operation. Indeed, at the end of September 2018, the completed heating works only concerned electric radiators or thermal boilers with high energy performance. Lastly, very low-income households constitute “15% to 55%” depending on the works, ie. a “low to moderate level”. In the light of this “success”, the ministry recalled that this operation was reoriented to favour renewable energy in heating.
Source: Contexte, October 23rd, 2018
Three personalities sign an op-ed on the use of carbon tax receipts
Bénédicte Peyrol (MP, La République en Marche), Benoit Leguet (Director General, I4CE) and Christophe Robert (Fondation Abbé Pierre) contributed to the discussion in their op-ed “Carbon tax: do not mislead the debate” to bring their vision on this controversial taxation, which “birth was facilitated by little information that is now endangering its growth”. The op-ed recalls, on the one hand, the objective of this tax (“in large part, to reduce the levies on labour and to support renewable energies”) and on the other hand, the income generated by this taxation (“almost €7 billion in 2017. This is only the beginning, as this tax should double by the end of this five-year mandate”). They also propose ways to use “the future billions of the carbon tax”, with a focus on financing the energy check and “supporting the renovation of energy inefficient houses”. They summed-up that this tax “do not punish but supports those who need it”.
Source: La Tribune, October 31st, 2018
MEPs adopted their position on the Eurovignette directive
During the plenary session on September 25th, Members of the European Parliament adopted the report of C. Revault d’Allones Bonnefoy (S&D, FR) on the Eurovignette directive (398 votes for, 179 against and 32 abstentions). This directive aims to modify the taxation systems based on duration (vignettes) to distance-based taxation (tolls). In their position, MEPs extended the scope to include individual vehicles while the initial proposal only included heavy-duty vehicles. The existing vignettes for heavy-duty vehicles will be valid until the end 2022 while the those applicable to light-duty commercial vehicles will be valid until the end of 2027. On the other hand, MEPs rejected the ban of vignettes for individual vehicles. Nevertheless, these vehicles will be subject to other provisions in this directive, such as the reduction on tolls for frequent users and the application of charges for external costs (noise, pollution…) from 2026 for specific road sections. The Council of the EU did not start yet to work on this proposal.
Source: Contexte, October 26th, 2018
Brexit: the United Kingdom wants to keep the price signal of the EU-ETS system in case of no-deal
On the occasion of the presentation of the draft Finance Bill of the United Kingdom on October 29th, Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said he wanted to duplicate the carbon price of the EU-ETS system in case of a no-deal Brexit. In concrete terms, the British government proposes to fix an additional tax on the current carbon price (18€/t), in addition to the carbon floor price already in force in the UK (20€/t until 2021). According to Philip Hammond, this compromise should ensure an adequate signal to discourage electricity generation by coal-fired power plants.
Source: Contexte, October 31st, 2018
Feedback on the informal Environment and Transport Council: change of time and declaration on clean mobility on the agenda
On October 29th and 30th, European ministers of transports and environment gathered in Graz, Austria for an informal Council dedicated to the challenges of clean mobility. In particular, the ministers called the European Commission to deliver a new strategy for “a clean, safe and affordable mobility” by 2021 in order to continue and operationalize the efforts made to achieve the objectives of the Paris Climate Agreement and high standards of air quality. The common declaration also emphasizes the necessity to support broadly and with targeted incentives the relevant actors concerned to secure the social acceptance for this transformation. Moreover, the ministers exchanged views on the European Commission’s proposal to abolish the time change: they proposed extending the transition period until 2021 and recalled the need for a concerted approach between Member States to avoid a geographical patchwork.
Source: Austrian Presidency, October 30th, 2018

Plenary session of the European Parliament, November 12th to 15th, Strasbourg:
Clean Energy Package: joint debate (12/11) and validation of the trilogue outcome (13/11);
Interim report on the MFF 2021-2027 (13/11) and vote (14/11);
Debate with the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel on the Future of Europe (13/11);
CO2 emission performances standards for new heavy-duty vehicles: debate (14/11) and vote (15/11)

Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), November 8th, 19th and 20th in Brussels and November 12th in Strasbourg:
Adoption of the draft opinion on European Social Fund Plus (12/11);
Adoption of the draft opinion on the InvestEU programme (12/11);
Adoption of the draft opinion on the Digital Europe programme (12/11);

Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), November 12th in Strasbourg and November 19th and 20th in Brussels
Consideration of amendments on the revision of the benchmark regulation (19/11).

Committee on Transports and Tourism (TRAN), November 15th, in Strasbourg
Adoption of the draft opinion on the InvestEu programme;
Adoption of the draft opinion on the Digital Europe programme;
Adoption of the draft opinion on Horizon Europe programme;

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), November 21st in Brussels:
Adoption of the draft report on Horizon Europe ;
Adoption of the draft report on Connecting Europe Facility programme;
Adoption of the draft report on Digital Europe programme.

Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO), November 21ST and 22nd in Brussels

Working Party on Energy, Council of the EU, November 8th, 13th and 20th in Brussels:
Examination of compromise proposals on the risk-preparedness regulation.

Working Party on Environment, Council of the EU, November 8th, 12th, 13th and 16th in Brussels:
Discussion on the European Court of Auditors report on air quality in the EU (8/11).

Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Society, November 8th, in Brussels:
Examination of Digital Europe Programme.

Friends of the Presidency Group on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), November 9th, in Brussels:
Examination of the CEF Program

Research Working Party, November 9th, in Brussels:
Continuation of the examination on the Horizon Europe programme

Horizontal Working Party on Cyber Issues, Council of the EU, November 13th and 14th in Brussels:
Examination of possible compromise proposals for next trilogue (13/11);
Examination of a revised text on the European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology & Research Competence Centre and Network of National Coordination Centres (14/11);
Exchange of views on Horizon Europe and Digital Europe Programme.

Working Party on Financial Services (Sustainable Finance - Taxonomy), November 15th, in Brussels:
Examination of the proposal regulation on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment;

COREPER 1, Council of the EU, November 9th, in Brussels:
Discussion of the mandate ahead of the 4th trilogue on “Electricity” directive and regulation.

Trilogue European Parliament / Council of the EU / European Commission, September 13th, Strasbourg:
“Electricity” directive and regulation

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