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Feedback on the EU's 2030 Climate Target Plan

Paikallisvoima (Local Power) appreciates this opportunity to give feedback on the 2030 Climate Target Plan. In our view, climate change is a global threat and the EU-level action is needed to counter it. Therefore, we welcome the Commission’s plan of setting a binding target of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 and see adjusting the GHG emission reduction targets for 2030 as important for reaching that target. 

The most cost-effective instrument for reaching the EU’s emissions reduction targets has been the EU Emissions Trading System. During the past decade, the cost of abating CO2 emissions through the ETS has constantly been significantly lower than those of other instruments. To ensure that emissions are reduced in the most cost-effective way, additional sources of GHG emissions such as the heating sector should be included into the ETS.

The Commission’s goal to ensure that the EU has access to a secure, affordable and sustainable energy system is also welcome. Paikallisvoima believes that a robust market-based framework that encourages competition between suppliers is crucial for driving innovation, lower prices for consumers and lower total emissions. Competitive markets are also vital for small or medium sized energy companies, which are capable of tailoring their services to meet local needs and preferences. For example, Finnish small and medium-sized energy suppliers have responded the quickest to the call for more sustainable energy with larger cuts to emissions than the average energy company. 

We also support the the assessment of the feasibility, costs and opportunities linked to the needed deployment of clean technologies. In order to achieve a cost-effective transition to a cleaner economy, it is necessary to consider every feasible option for reducing emissions, for example nuclear energy. Therefore, the EU’s approach to reaching its emissions reduction targets should be technology neutral. This would also enable energy suppliers to choose technologies that best fit the local conditions as long as these technologies reduce emissions. Additionally, it is vital that the EU’s research and innovation policies continue to support the development and adoption of new energy technologies.

The EU should also support endeavours to improve the circular economy in the energy sector. For example, waste heat can be efficiently recovered for use in district heating.  

Finally, we agree with the Commission’s view that the transition to a more sustainable economy should be a socially fair and just transition that improves citizens’ living conditions and supports skills formation and job creation, and that it reverses environmental degradation. The proposed Just Transition Fund should take into account the reduction of energy production from peat.