Sep 15, 2021 - Energy & Environment

A wrinkle in Europe's climate policy debate

Illustration of a circular gas burner as the stars on the EU flag.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Surging European natural gas and power prices are spilling into the debate over European Unions' plans to implement a suite of aggressive climate policies.

Driving the news: "Had we had the Green Deal five years earlier, we would not be in this position because then we would have less dependence on fossil fuels and on natural gas," Frans Timmermans, a top European Commission official on climate, told a European Parliament meeting Tuesday.

  • His comments come via Reuters and others' reporting on the fallout from the price spikes in Europe's tight gas market.

Yes, but: A Politico piece on the topic notes that "concerns over a popular backlash" were evident at the parliament meeting as the bloc debates measures aimed at cutting emissions 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.

  • The story explores complaints by Polish officials about EU carbon policies.
  • However, Timmermans, via that story and several others, emphasized that only a small amount of rising power bills can be attributed to rising carbon prices in the bloc's emissions trading market.
  • A hat-tip to Carbon Brief's morning news roundup for flagging this coverage.
Go deeper