Today’s Energy Community Sustainability Forum underlined that it is high time to translate political and legal commitments into concrete actions to drive the decarbonisation of the energy systems. The virtual Forum gathered Ministers and Deputy Ministers responsible for energy, environment and climate change of the Energy Community Contracting Parties, high-level officials of the European Commission, EU Member States and Contracting Parties as well as representatives of academia, civil society and non-governmental organisations.
The Forum underlined the importance of establishing a new 2030 Energy Community legislative framework to raise the share of energy from renewable sources, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in accordance with the Paris Agreement. Participants welcomed the progress several Contracting Parties made on establishing National Energy and Climate Plans.
The Forum underlined that the imminent introduction of a carbon price under an emissions trading, tax or similar mechanism coupled with the phase out of polluting coal-fired power plants under the Large Combustion Plants and Industrial Emissions Directives will be one of the key drivers in the decarbonization process. The Forum expressed concern regarding the slow pace of investments in emissions abatement and encouraged faster deployment of renewable energy alternatives, especially wind and solar, through auctions.
The Forum reaffirmed that civil society should be at the centre of the energy transition and underlined that the energy transition must be inclusive and empower and encourage the active participation of citizens in the transformation of the energy system. The Forum highlighted the importance of citizen energy communities and other citizen initiatives in contributing to the energy transition and the implementation of the 2030 targets, soon to be adopted in the Energy Community, taking into account the decrease of costs of small scale renewable energy and energy storage technologies.