Europe: Energy and environment in 2018 (A preview)

2018 looks set to be a defining year for energy and environment policy in Europe, as important legislative files move towards becoming EU law.

In November 2016, the European Commission proposed its Clean Energy Package and 2017 was mostly geared towards the other European institutions agreeing on their own positions.

With that key step almost complete, 2018 will see EU lawmakers, officials and member states meet to negotiate and hammer out laws that will take the bloc all the way up to 2030.

The European Parliament and Council have already mapped out their negotiating positions for the renewable energy, energy efficiency and governance files, while the member states have also finalised their electricity market directive position.

January will see MEPs meet in Strasbourg to vote on the first three files and there is still time for changes to be made, given the close nature of how the Parliament’s environment and energy committees voting went.

The Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), in particular, could provide a late sting in the tail, after the file’s lead MEP, Polish Socialist Democrat Adam Gierek, resigned after December’s committee vote, citing a lack of support from his colleagues.

Next week could provide an opportunity for lawmakers disgruntled by the energy committee’s position to rally and make further amendments to the European Commission’s initial proposal, which includes a 30% efficiency target.

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