An expensive shade of green: The key aim of the EU Green Deal is becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Bearing in mind the recent surge in energy prices, how can the EU assure that this rapid shift towards renewable energy does not come at the detriment of consumers and companies who might face higher energy bills as a result?

Submitted by: Anna Jansen op de Haar, Imme Bosman, Jackie Wiederspahn, Marieke de Weerd, Daniélla Izabell,  Aysha Koçtürk (Chairperson, TR)

The European Youth Parliament,

  1. Appreciating the goals of the European Green Deal such as:
    1. reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55%,
    2. achieving a 40% share of renewable energy in the EU’s energy mix by 2030,
  2. Deeply concerned by the sharp rise in natural gas prices of more than 450% since the beginning of the year, resulting in an increase in electricity prices by over 230%,
  3. Aware that natural gas and coal still make up 35% of the EU’s total energy production in 2019,
  4. Observing the great differences in the share of non-renewable energy sources between Member States’ energy mixes,
  5. Alarmed by the financial burden which mounting electricity prices might inflict on financially weak households, in particular on those 8% of EU citizens that already live in energy poverty,
  6. Pointing out the EU’s unpreparedness for the planned energy transition, as:
    1. 75% of EU citizens still heavily depend on heating systems fuelled by fossil fuels,
    2. many building infrastructures are unfit for a switch to renewable energy sources;

  1. Calls upon the Directorate General for Budget (DG BUDG) to provide Member States with further funding dedicated to the pursuit of the goals of the Green Deal;
  2. Encourages national primary energy producers to initiate a switch to renewable energy production while still producing non-renewables, similar to the approach of Royal Dutch Shell, with the help from the European Innovation Fund;
  3. Requests the European Commission to financially support companies producing and providing renewable energy, for instance hydroelectric energy;
  4. Encourages Member States to invest specifically in those renewable energy sources that are most suitable for the respective country’s environmental and social conditions;
  5. Calls upon Member States to:
    1. financially support low-income households’ struggling to meet electricity bills,
    2. subsidise said households when acquiring their own renewable energy source;
  6. Invites municipalities to renovate public buildings, thereby improving their energy efficiency, with the financial assistance of the European Structural and Investment Funds;
  7. Calls upon the European Commission to draft environmental requirements for newly constructed buildings;
  8. Calls upon the European Commission to subsidise the switch from heating systems powered by fossil fuels to ones based on renewable energy sources through the LIFE Programme.