Kęstutis Trečiokas to express the Lithuanian stance on the EU climate and energy framework at the meeting in Bratislava2016-07-11
Today, an informal 2-day meeting for the Ministers of Environment of the Member States of the EU was launched in Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. According to Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas, attending the meeting, the first issue on the agenda was discussion on ways to manage the European water resources in light of the climate change. Discussion will include items on shortage of water, impact of draughts and floods on the European economy and measures in place to mitigate the consequences of extreme hydrological phenomena. Compared to other EU Member States, Lithuania currently faces no significant shortage of water or any excess of water during floods.
Another item on the agenda of the meeting is more relevant to Lithuania, i.e. the objectives of the 2030 EU climate and energy framework. The international emissions trading system is now undergoing reforms in order to drop the level of greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 on the entire EU level, compared to 1990. There were some objectives set to the EU Member States, binding on sectors not part to the system (including agriculture, transport, buildings, and households). To deliver these objectives and the objectives of the Energy Union, national plans on energy and climate change must be drafted by 2019 under the new management system. These plans are expected to include energy security, internal energy rates, and reduction in volume of carbon dioxide, energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, as well as research development.
The meeting in Bratislava shall also consider coordinated funding of the new management system. According to Kęstutis Trečiokas, Lithuania takes a positive view on the progress made by the EU Member States in discussions on the reforms of the emissions trading system; however, the country takes the stance that the new funding instruments expected, including the Modernisation Fund and Investment Fund, will not be enough to secure funding for the investment in energy systems in the period after 2020. Today, funding by the EU structural and investment funds accounts for some 80% of Lithuanian investment in the objectives of the climate and energy framework by 2020, and these funds are absolutely required to deliver larger objectives by 2030.
Lithuania takes the view that the Modernisation Fund and Investment Fund currently on the table will only focus investment of both public and private sectors, where they operate in a transparent and accessible manner, provided their management will not result in a disproportionate administrative burden. The Investment Fund should not focus exclusively on the projects targeting geological storage of carbon dioxide and investment in the field of renewables (as is currently planned) but further include other latest green technologies. Lithuania is convinced that the funding to be made available by the fund should cover at least one project in each EU Member State.
Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas will also use the meeting as an opportunity to voice an idea that the Modernisation Fund only available to the lower-income EU Member States (including Lithuania) would provide funding not only for the projects dedicated at enhanced energy efficiency and modernisation of energy systems, but also projects on organisation of the branches of industry that are heavily dependent on energy. Lithuania believes two management structures of the fund to be set up, including the Steering Board and the Investment Board will merely contribute to the administration costs and pose a heavier bureaucratic burden preventing the use of funding available. It is important for our country to ensure equal representation in the management of the Modernisation Fund, with larger decision making powers to be dedicated to the EU Member States.
The Ministers of Environment convened in Bratislava are also expected to discuss the preparation of the EU for the conference on the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to be held in Marrakesh in Morocco in the coming November.
11 July 2016