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Green campaigners criticise EU-wide energy governance plans

European Commission plans for an EU-wide energy governance system make no mention of punishment for any member state not reaching their climate and energy targets for 2030, has reported.

Any governance system without the threat of legal action – such as EC infringement proceedings, which can lead to fines – would lack teeth, green campaigners said.

Governments will have to submit national plans and report twice-yearly on how they are being carried out, Commission documents for national officials obtained by EurActiv revealed.

That data will be collated and published in an annual report, the Commission discussion paper for civil servants in charge of national climate and energy departments said.

The document, a first step in the creation of the governance framework, sets out objectives, possible tools and areas for future debate with member states.

None of those sections refer to any enforcement for those that fail to meet their commitments.

Similar rules in the past have not penalised EU countries for missing targets, but have brought legal action against them for not taking steps to meet the goals.

The discussion paper was circulated among member states before officials meet on 15 July. After the summer, the EU Council’s energy working group will meet to discuss it further.

The EC is hoping to secure support for the broad outline of the governance framework at the November meeting of EU energy ministers.

Climate Action Network Europe renewable policy coordinator Jean-François Fauconnier said: “The commission’s discussion paper on the Energy Union governance system is completely lacking teeth. Planning and reporting alone will not ensure that the EU meets and exceeds its 2030 energy and climate goals.

“With this proposal governments will not be held accountable for failing to invest in renewables and energy efficiency. Europe’s success on renewables has been driven by binding national renewable energy targets.”

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