EU’s green recovery hinges on ”flexibility” of member states, official says

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The European Union’s proposed €750 billion recovery plan from the coronavirus crisis will need to acknowledge national differences on clean energy in order to succeed, a senior EU official has said.

The European Commission will take account of “the different starting points of member states” when modelling the costs and benefits of raising the EU’s 2030 climate goals, said Artur Runge-Metzger, director at the energy department of the EU executive, according to Euractiv.com

Regional differences – such as winter heating needs – will weigh on the final decisions over national recovery plans that countries must submit in order to tap into the recovery fund, he said.

“What is important in Europe is flexibility to make sure that in the end we deliver decarbonisation and climate neutrality in a manner which is as cost-efficient as possible,” the EU official said.

“What is also clear is that there are various pathways” to decarbonise energy by 2050, Runge-Metzger told an online event, referring to the EU’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions.

The European Commission tabled a recovery plan from the coronavirus crisis at the end of May, proposing to borrow €750 billion and redistribute the money in the form of grants and loans to member states hardest hit by the pandemic.

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