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23rd Feb 2020

Germany wants "robust and reliable" climate monitoring

  • Berlin and London are at odds over how the EU will achieve climate and energy goals (Photo: European Commission)

Germany wants the EU to set up “a specific, robust, and reliable governance structure” to make sure its member states live up to the climate and energy promises they made three months ago, according to a leaked document published online Monday (19 January).

The German position paper come less than two weeks after a similar type of document co-written by the United Kingdom and the Czech Republic was leaked.

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When in October EU government leaders set climate and energy targets for 2030, they didn't specify how individual countries would be held to account. It did note that the EU should set up a “governance system” to ensure its member states meet the goals.

Unlike Berlin, London and Prague called on the EU's governing body the European Commisison to “be light touch and non-legislative so as to respect member state flexibility over its choice of measures and technologies”.

In what seems like a direct response, the Germans write: “To us, it seems clear that it would not satisfy the implementation of the 2030 Council conclusions, if the new Energy Union governance was merely a soft law process without any differentiation for areas with targets.”

"We need to discuss further whether the implementation of the 2030 Council conclusions requires indicative targets or individual benchmarks to be set for Member States’ planning processes", the paper adds.

The document - titled German non-paper on the 'Energy Union' - indicates that most of the EU's current issues in energy and climate fall under the umbrella of the term energy union.

Building a “resilient Energy Union with a forward looking climate policy” is one of commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's political priorities.

The German document includes a reference to an idea from Energy Union commissioner Maros Sefcovic, who suggested that the EU must “explore common purchasing of gas”, to strengthen the bargaining position of the EU, which relies for about a third of its gas imports from Russia.

In the paper, Germany shoots down this idea, as it goes “against the liberalisation of gas markets in Europe”.

“In view of the German government the completion of the internal EU market for gas is the most effective way to strengthen the negotiating position of European companies vis a vis external suppliers of gas", it says.

The existence of the German document was first reported by Reuters on Friday and published on Monday by blogger Alice Stollmeyer.

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