The European Union is a global leader in transitioning towards a low-emission economy, with a goal to make Europe a climate-neutral economy by 2050. Its efforts are having a serious impact on the energy and upstream sectors in the region.

EU climate regulations 

The most recent act of tightening climate regulations is the European Green Deal announced in December 2019. It is underpinned by a draft climate law proposed by the European Commission, which aims to commit European Union member states to becoming climate-neutral by 2050 (2050 marks the long-term time horizon for the PGNiG Group). The plan seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level enabling their removal from the atmosphere through natural sinks or with appropriate technology. The goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions is broken down into intermediate steps making up a road map that raises the 2030 reduction target (2030 marks the medium-term time horizon for the PGNiG Group) for the EU from the current 40% to 50%–55%. The European Green Deal comprises also Communication 2019/C 209/01 and TCFD (Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures) Guidelines, together with taxonomy annexes. The documents set out the approach to introducing climate-friendly changes at companies, describe in detail the change implementation process and a taxonomy for green investments, and provide reporting guidance to companies. The following measures that are important from the PGNiG Group’s perspective are to become part of the European Green Deal framework in the near term:

  • a mechanism proposed for selected sectors, adjusting the prices of goods produced outside of the European Union or imported from other countries taking into account CO2 emissions
  • a draft of the first European climate law proposed in 2020 to enshrine in legislation the climate neutrality commitment and to ensure that EU policies contribute to its achievement and that all sectors play their role in the process
  • a review of all significant climate policy instruments, including the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), to be completed by June 2021
  • a mechanism proposed for selected sectors, adjusting the prices of goods produced outside of the European Union or imported from other countries taking into account CO2 emissions
  • a review of the EU’s and Member States’ energy-related legislation by June 2021, including an assessment of the national plans aimed at updating them by 2023 to reflect the new ambitious climate targets
  • measures taken to help reduce emissions from the gas sector: increased support for development work in the field of low-emission gases (including hydrogen), development of a forward-looking concept for a competitive zero-emission gas market, and solving the problem of energy-related methane emissions (including from coal production).

To implement this plan, the European Commission highlighted the need to develop a set of political strategies and tools supporting their implementation in the form of regulations, national reforms, international cooperation, and dialogue with social partners. The European Commission also envisages the involvement of the public and private sectors in investment projects (‘green investments’) to support the achievement of the stated goals.

In view of the goals set for the EU Member States, the PGNiG Group has taken measures to meet the climate commitments. It seeks to reduce direct and indirect emissions (in tonnes of eCO2) and aims to take advantage of the decisions issued by the European Commission, which views natural gas as a transition fuel for the purpose of implementing the European Green Deal and hydrogen – as a gas with strong potential to become the key energy source used by people. The other energy sources considered to be the energy sources of the future are renewables, particularly solar, wind and geothermal energy.

It should also be noted that, aware of its environmental impact, the PGNiG Group adheres to the principles of sustainable development in its operations and strategic activities and deploys solutions to mitigate their adverse effects. Undoubtedly, the European Green Deal is another driver of the Group’s efforts to meet its environmental goals. The new EU climate policy also provides new opportunities for the gas sector – being the cleanest fossil fuel, natural gas will stabilise the RES market and provide an alternative to crude oil and coal, contributing to the policy implementation with lower emissions of harmful particulate matter and GHG.

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