Tue. Oct 4th, 2022
Brussels, 19 September 2022
See question(s) : E-002447/2022
Answer given by Executive Vice-President Timmermans
on behalf of the European Commission
1. The current crisis is not caused by climate policy, but by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Understanding fully the gravity of the current situation, the Commission has just published the Save Gas for a Safe Winter Communication1, proposing a gas demand reduction target and providing tools for a coordination action in that view. This comes in addition to the REPowerEU Communication2 which contains plans to rapidly reduce Russian fossil fuel dependency. The Communication on Energy Prices3 assesses measures which Member States can take to tackle problems caused by high energy prices. The REPowerEU plan also includes a proposal to increase auctioning of EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) allowances until the amount has reached EUR 20 billion, to fund energy-related investments.
It would not be feasible nor appropriate to suspend the EU ETS, a central pillar of EU climate policy. Furthermore, the costs of EU ETS allowances for the power sector are auctioning revenues for Member State governments. Those revenues can and are being used to support energy efficiency and renewables policy. In addition, the distribution of auctioning volumes across Member States is partly based on solidarity with lower income Member States. The value of this solidarity, as well as of the Modernisation Fund, has increased with the rise of the EU carbon price.
2. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is not a reason to lessen EU efforts to reduce dependence on fossil fuels or tackle climate change. On the contrary, it shows the importance in the medium term of EU climate and energy policies, as set out in the Fit for 55 Package and the RepowerEU Communication. More particularly, the EU economy would be in a worse position without the energy efficiency improvements and renewables in place.

1 COM(2022) 360 final.
2 COM(2022) 230 final.
3 COM(2022) 138 final.