Five countries – Estonia, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK – are hindering progress towards Europe’s energy transformation.
On December 18, energy ministers from the 28 Member States will meet to agree on a common position for most of the “Clean Energy for All Europeans package”, a once in a decade set of reforms that will underpin the transformation of the European energy system over the next 15- 20 years.
Recent developments show that European governments are about to dilute proposals significantly. The draft texts ready for approval would allow the continued use of public money for fossil fuels, worsen investment conditions into energy efficiency and renewable energies, and stymie competition by weakening provisions to open markets to consumer participation, renewables, or new business entrants.
A group of more unusual countries stand out as guilty of weakening the proposals.
Meet the “Frustrating Five”:
1. Estonia: for leading member states towards new coal subsidies
2. Germany – for hampering the democratisation of energy
3. Italy – for avoiding a European approach to security of supply
4. Spain – for siding with coal rather than renewables.
5. UK – for being ok with new coal subsidies while campaigning for coal phase out
European governments have just over a week to reverse this low ambition dynamic. The European Parliament is emerging as a leader in promoting the transformation of Europe’s energy sector. European governments must not become the laggards.