The solution to the recent price increases in the energy sector should not be to slow things down in the EU’s green transition, but rather to speed them up in order to make renewable energy affordable to everyone, according to Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s vice president in charge of the European Green Deal.
Only about a fifth of the energy price increase can be attributed to the rising costs of CO2 emissions, while the rest is simply due to a market shortage, according to Timmermans, who was speaking at the European Parliament during a debate on Fit for 55, a package of proposed legislation aimed at helping the EU reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030.
Timmermans: only about a fifth of the energy price increase can be attributed to the rising costs of CO2 emissions
At the end of August, the carbon price, a key incentive to emitters to switch to clean energy, topped EUR 60 per ton for the first time ever, compared with about EUR 31 per ton in December 2020.
Timmermans also noted that the prices for renewables have stayed low and stable during this energy price crisis. According to him, had the EU had the European Green Deal five years earlier, the crisis would not have arisen as the bloc would be less dependent on fossil fuels and natural gas.
The prices for renewables have stayed low and stable during the energy price crisis
Noting that all measures proposed in Fit for 55 will affect energy prices, Timmermans called for making sure that does not affect the most vulnerable groups. The EU members should take steps to ensure that the burden of the energy transition is evenly distributed across society, he said.
EU members should ensure that the burden of the energy transition is evenly distributed in society
“The one thing we cannot afford is for the social side to be opposed to the climate side,” said Timmermans.