EU to unravel new pieces of the climate and energy policy puzzle

The first week of September has seen frenzied activity within the EU politics, waiting for the new Commission’s official designations by the incoming president of the EU executive Jean-Claude’s Juncker expected to be announced on the 9 or 10 of this month.

Leaked draft documents circulating among news outlets has sparked questions over a possible unification of the energy and climate change departments. Drafted organigrams, reported by Euractiv and by The Financial Times, named Jonathan Hill, UK’s former Leader of the Lords, as energy and climate change commissioner, and former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis as vice president of the “energy union”, a potential brand-new role.

Although Juncker’s office has neither confirmed nor denied the rumors, 25 MEPs from the main European parties on Thursday (Sept, 4) wrote a letter to the new Commission president asking to “ensure that dedicated Commissioners are in charge of each of the climate and the energy portfolios”, because a merger “would risk weakening both agenda”.

The final voting on the new EU Commission will take place in October, by when the EU Council is intended to agree on the final climate and energy package for 2030. Reuters on Monday (Sept, 1) disclosed a draft proposal from the EU Council planning additional funds to help heavy-emitting industries and low-income EU member states meet the 40 percent cut in GHG emissions proposed by the EU Commission in January.

According to Reuters, the document calls for a “new innovation facility” fund to finance innovation and emissions cuts among utilities and industrial manufacturers, and a “modernization fund” to help EU’s poorer nations subsidize low-carbon investments in the power sector. The conclusions propose earmarking 5 percent of all ETS allowances between 2021 and 2030 for the innovation facility, and 4 percent for the modernization fund.