European Commission announces low-carbon priorities for 2023
Following the State of the Union address, the European Commission has published its 2023 Work Programme.
The Work Programme covers all Commission priorities and sets out 43 new policy initiatives, five of which explicitly target reducing emissions in transport and energy.
Reform of the internal electricity market
Firstly, the Commission proposes a comprehensive reform of the internal electricity market. This will aim to decouple the effect of gas prices on electricity prices ensuring that Europe is better able to face future price shocks, while also preparing the market for greater use of decarbonised electricity in mobility and industry as we move away from fossil fuels.
New European Hydrogen Bank
A new European Hydrogen Bank will be established to invest 3 billion EUR into kick-starting a hydrogen market in the EU. Under REPowerEU the EU doubled its 2030 hydrogen target to ten million tonnes of production per year. The hydrogen bank, financed by the Innovation Fund, will help to guarantee the purchase of hydrogen to connect future supply and demand.
Green Freight Package
The Work Programme also promises further efforts in reducing emissions in transport with a Greening Freight Package comprised of measures to increase rail use for freight and passenger transport, as well as revisions to the weights and dimensions directive, and the combined transport directive. A Greening Corporate Fleets Initiative is also foreseen, though details on this are scarce.
Finally, the Commission foresees a Mobility Package. This will involve a common EU mobility data space to increase digitalisation of mobility, encourage innovation, and enable multimodality and sustainability. The Commission is also considering the regulatory frameworks needed to enable hyperloop technologies.
The Work Programme also stresses the importance of legislative procedures started in 2021 and 2022 as part of the Fit for 55% Package and the European Green Deal, which still sit before the European Parliament and Council of the European Union. These include proposals for:
- Directive on common rules for the internal markets in renewable and natural gases and in hydrogen (COM(2021)803)
- Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (recast) (COM(2021)802)
- Regulation on use of renewable and low-carbon fuels in maritime transport (COM(2021)562)
- Regulation on deployment of alternative fuel infrastructures (COM(2021)559)
- Directive on energy efficiency (recast) (COM(2021)558)
- Directive on the promotion of energy from renewable sources (COM(2021) 557)
The Work Programme will be presented to the European Parliament and Council, with the three institutions to prepare a Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities by December.
Access the full document: Commission Work Programme 2023: A Union standing firm and united.
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