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Ambitious Energy and Climate Targets and Acceleration of Marine Renewable Energy in CEE

Berlin, Germany

Governments across Europe have struggled to effectively plan and reach the milestones relevant for climate neutrality and need to provide a strong framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2030. These climate targets can bridge the gap between the 55% emission reduction until 2030 and the aim of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. In times of change and in the face of the upcoming European elections, the 2040 targets are still being considered and will determine the course of the European Green Deal.

CSD’s Martin Vladimirov presented the perspective of CEE as part of the 2040 climate targets panel at EUKI Annual Networking Conference, held on 14 and 15 May in Berlin. He was joined by Yvon Slingenberg, Deputy Director-General, Directorate-General Climate Action of the European Commission, Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Head of International and European Governance, Senior Fellow, Ecologic Institute, and Christophe Jost, Senior EU Policy Officer, CEE Bankwatch Network.

Yvon Slingenberg noted that achieving the EU's climate targets will require significant efforts across different sectors, particularly in energy independence and industrial decarbonizatioln. Martin Vladimirov and Christophe Jost stressed the need to involve civil society in achieving these goals. Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf emphasised the requirement for concrete actions and the importance of relying not solely on technology but also on structural changes.

(L-R): Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Ecologic Institute, Christophe Jost, CEE Bankwatch Network and Martin Vladimirov, Center for the Study of Democracy
(L-R): Dr. Nils Meyer-Ohlendorf, Ecologic Institute, Christophe Jost, CEE Bankwatch Network and Martin Vladimirov, Center for the Study of Democracy
(L-R): Alina Arsani, Energy Policy Group, Dragomir Tzanev, Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, Maris Pedaja, CEE Bankwatch Network, Kalina Tcolova, Center for the Study of Democracy
Policy Workshop: Fostering Socially Fair and Ambitious NECPs in CEE , 15 May 2024, Berlin, Germany
(L-R): Martin Vladimirov, CSD, Ben Sass, PNE AG, Cristina Simoli, Renewable Grids Initiative, Pawel Czyzak, EMBER, Stanislav Anastassov, Committee for Environment, Bulgarian National Assembly, and Lukasz Dabrowski, Pomeranian Offshore Platform

Unlocking the CEE Offshore Wind Potential

Embracing offshore wind offers a compelling alternative to fossil fuels, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe, where economies are still highly carbon-intensive and the renewable energy potential is immense. The workshop will delve into the multifaceted challenges and opportunities for the development of offshore wind energy in the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea, focusing on the need for sound regulatory set-up, environmental sustainability, and enabling infrastructure.

Several governance deficits need to be overcome to make these projects happen, including a lack of strategic vision, an unclear regulatory framework, technical barriers related to grid and port infrastructure development, and pervasive myths about the impact of offshore wind on nature and biodiversity that undermine societal continuity.

CSD experts were joined by Stanislav Anastassov, Chairman, Committee for Environment, Bulgarian National Assembly, Pawel Czyzak, Regional Lead - CEE, EMBER, Cristina Simoli, Director, Offshore Energy and Nature, Renewable Grids Initiative, Ben Sass, Head of Project Development Offshore, PNE AG, and Lukasz Dabrowski, Marshal's Office, Pomeranian Offshore Platform. Speakers stressed the need for addressing different kinds of risk, the value of partnerships, and the potential of the sector to employ highly skilled workforce.

Fostering Socially Fair and Ambitious NECPs in CEE

Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries have been particularly affected by the energy crisis since the start of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. The National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) are crucial for the alignment between the energy and climate policies of CEE countries with the ambitious path to climate neutrality set by the EU for 2050, taking into account energy security and social aspects of the green transition.

The NECPs are also key to ensuring a fair approach to overcoming the socio-economic tensions related to the impacts of the energy transition on various vulnerable groups and the high levels of energy poverty. To bridge the policy implementation gap in CEE, a data-driven structural transformational process is needed to ensure the effective revision of the current versions of the NECPs and ultimately secure just socio-economic development.

In addition to CSD experts, the discussion features  Dragomir Tzanev, Executive Director, Center for Energy Efficiency EnEffect, Alina Arsani, Head of Energy Systems, Energy Policy Group, and Maris Pedaja, National Campaigner, Estonia, CEE Bankwatch Network. Speakers provided insight into the specific challenges faced by policy-makers on the strengthening of the stakeholder engagement process and the level of inclusivity of the public discourse when designing and deploying ambitious energy and climate policies within the NECPs.

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