The European Commission has finalized its long-anticipated investment agreement with China. While some renewable energy businesses might benefit from improved investment security, IP protection and access to legal remedies in China, the Commission did not address the issue of Uyghur forced labor in China. As a majority block in the European Parliament had previously demanded from the Commisison to develop a firm policy to end forced labor in China, there is reason for doubt that the agreement as it stands will be adopted by the EU Parliament.
The weeks ahead could prove decisive for the bloc’s decarbonization ambitions as the European Parliament prepares for several votes and legislative proposals from the commission. The European Climate Law and the Just Transition Fund are critical parts of the European Green Deal but remain points of contention at Brussels.
The economic fallout of the Covid-19 outbreak is yet to be determined but as legislators scramble to establish fiscal support for the EU it is becoming clear the suits in Brussels are not prepared to scrap their hard-won Green Deal plan. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Although decried for lacking ambition and as an abdication of responsibility in some quarters, the climate law proposed by the European Commission may be more ambitious than it first appears, as Felicia Jackson, from the center for sustainable finance of the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London – considers here.
European Parliament groupings, renewable energy associations and climate activists have voiced disappointment at the EU Climate Law officially unveiled yesterday. Lack of a raised emission-reduction ambition to 2030 is at the heart of the opposition, with critics saying the plan will be insufficient to help prevent global temperatures rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The European Commission today officially presented its Green Deal bill. Though the law has been welcomed in principle by environmental organizations, the provisions are not seen to be ambitious or concrete enough – and 12 EU member states already want to speed up decarbonization.
Lobby group CEO Walburga Hemetsberger says the plans announced by commission president Ursula von der Leyen this week should place the European solar industry front and center.
President Ursula von der Leyen has outlined plans to fund her Green Deal with a mix of EU, member state and private sector contributions. Now it is over to individual nations and the European Parliament.
By this time next year we may be able to wave goodbye to that old chestnut about renewables endangering security of supply. Elsewhere, the price of lithium – and the products it goes into – could go either way after tanking this year.
Ursula von der Leyen’s newly-appointed EU Commission is facing an early test of its credentials with the European Council caught in the crossfire over citizen data rights. The renewables industry voiced fears yesterday, at a digitalization conference in Berlin, that overstrict data protection rules could kill data-driven business models while the media is set to portray any perceived weakening of the legislation as evidence of EU lawmakers being in thrall to the Silicon Valley internet giants.