Frans Timmermans and his legacy for the EU energy and climate policies


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The next EU parliamentary elections are due in June 2024, but there are already plenty of rumors and news in Brussels, starting with the European Commission. Frans Timmermans, the Dutch representative tasked with the ambitious European Green Deal on climate policies, decided to return home and run as the Netherlands’ future prime minister. The EU Green Deal involved a new vision on a lot of issues, especially energy. By leaving the European Commission, Timmermans created a hole in a very critical portfolio, with possible consequences for the whole EU’s plans on the matter. The former vice president of the European Commission achieved an EU ban on the combustion engine, a carbon border tax, and a new Emissions Trading System (ETS) for road transport and buildings. With the target of cutting emissions to 55 percent by 2030, the transition to clean energy is crucial for the EU. This means a focus on enhancing efficiency and rationalizing consumption patterns, while also popularizing renewable energy sources and developing green hydrogen technologies. In this context, Brussels promoted in the whole EU the renovation of old buildings to enhance their ability to save energy.

Filling the void left by Timmermans will be a hard task for the EU Commission, which has to prove its commitment to advance the ambitious targets on climate policy and energy. On this issue, President Ursula von der Leyen clearly stated that Brussels will continue to develop a stronger international strategy for the European Green Deal “in line with our economic and geopolitical interests.” This means that the Commission “will enhance its multilateral Green Deal diplomacy” in order to consolidate “Europe’s leadership role on global renewables and energy efficiency targets.”

Written by: Francesco Marino

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