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Climate and Sustainable Finance - The impact of the EU's energy transition

31 January 2020 Dijedon Imeri Petya Barzilska

The Council of the European Union has agreed to cut net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, with support from EU member states excluding Poland. The plan has significant implications for the mining, transport, capital market, banking, and renewables sectors.

Key findings

  • The transition from coal to climate-friendlier assets is likely to vary, with Poland and Bulgaria less well prepared and Poland in particular likely to lag behind.
  • Targeted EU financing for southern and eastern EU member states should help to reduce strike and protest risks in energy-intensive and carbon-heavy sectors
  • Implementation of the proposed carbon border tax is likely to be protracted because of technical difficulties.
  • EU environmental and energy state-aid guidelines are likely to be changed
  • Protests by truck drivers are probable in response to likely taxation and regulation changes
  • Broader pro-environmental demonstrations are likely, including protests over the continued operation of coal mines, with a greater focus on coal in Germany.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the European Union's "Green New Deal" on 11 December. This comprises a set of proposed policies and legislation seeking to overhaul EU institutions and to structure funding to catalyse "green" investments, ushering in a carbon-neutral economy. The cornerstone of the plan is a proposed law to make a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 legally binding.

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