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    Finland : EU energy ministers talk in Amiens about energy prices, energy efficiency and hydrogen - fair transition and forests with environment ministers


    January 22, 2022 - Al Bawaba Business

     

      Informal meetings of EU environment and energy ministers will be held on 20-22 January 2022 in Amiens, France. Finland's representatives will be represented by Finland's Minister for the Environment and Climate Emma Kari and Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintil's State Secretary Jukka Ihanus.

      Thursday 20.1. At their meeting, environment ministers discussed, among other things, the EU's chemicals strategy, pesticides and deforestation.

      Friday 21.1. the joint meeting of energy and environment ministers will begin with a working lunch on a fair transition. Ministers will discuss whether the structure of the 55 preparedness package meets the challenges of social justice and acceptability, what action at EU level will ensure that the green transition is fair while maintaining its climate policy ambition, and in which sectors the 55 package would provide the greatest growth and employment opportunities.

      In the afternoon, the theme of the joint meeting will be the role of forests and wood products in environmental, energy and climate policy. The ministers will discuss e.g. economic or regulatory means to increase the longer-term use of wood from forests and to increase carbon sinks.

      Energy ministers are considering rising energy prices, the hydrogen economy and energy efficiency

      Saturday 22.1. The three themes of the own meeting of energy ministers are: energy prices for the European consumer, the imposition of stricter obligations on member states under the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, and the promotion of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.

      The rise in energy prices is unfortunate for consumers, but the disruption would seem temporary. The EU should not take any action that would disrupt the emissions trading system or the electricity market. Issues related to the retail energy market are largely a national competence, so action should remain national. The abandonment of fossil fuels and the increase in renewable and other zero-emission energy sources will protect against energy price shocks in the longer term.

      The role of promoting energy efficiency in achieving climate goals will be strengthened when energy efficiency measures have a real and significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Member States are very different in terms of both energy use and energy systems. There is no single EU-level energy efficiency measure that has the same impact on emissions in all Member States. It must be possible to optimize cost-effective measures on a Member State-by-Member State basis, based on actual Member State-specific data. Targets based on modeling at EU level may lead to high costs and inefficiencies in reducing emissions at Member State level.

      In the hydrogen economy, Finland considers it important that development be started quickly and that industry invests. Regulation must be transparent, agile and technology-neutral. The winning solutions are chosen in the market. In the longer term, emphasis can be placed on climate policy ambition, but in the initial stages it must not slow down the development of technologies and markets.

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