Environment Committee adopts compromise package on REPowerEU / Due to energy crisis, Parliament plenary sessions should take place in Brussels in winter / Travelling to Strasbourg and heating a second building not responsible, while we call on others to save money

On Monday evening, the EU’s Environment Committee adopted the financial cornerstone for REPowerEU. With a broad majority, MEPs adopted compromises that envisage auctioning certificates worth 20 billion euros from the European Emissions Trading Scheme earlier than planned in order to carry out investments in energy independence. "With this decision, we have come a big step closer to becoming independent from Russia on the issue of energy imports," said Peter Liese, European Parliament rapporteur on REPowerEU in the Environment Committee on Monday evening's vote. "We can now tackle several crises together. Firstly, the prices for CO2 certificates and thus energy prices will be curbed. This will help citizens and companies with energy costs this winter. At the same time, we can support the investments that we urgently need right now and get closer to our European climate goal. In the second half of this decade, we will have to take additional efforts here, however. Important for the EPP is that a large part of the funds must be spent on cross-border projects. There must be an end to nation-state egoism, such as France's behaviour of not allowing renewable electricity from Spain and Portugal into the rest of the continent in order to protect their own power plant industry,” declared Liese, who is also the environmental policy spokesman for the largest group in the European Parliament (EPP, Christian Democrats).

Liese stressed that the European Parliament itself must also play its part in saving energy. In a letter to the President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola and Chair of the Environment Committee Pascal Canfin, Liese called for the Parliament to meet only in Brussels next winter and thereby suspending the constant travelling to Strasbourg for the period until April. "If we ask everyone to save energy, it is not responsible to heat two buildings and make unnecessary trips. During the Corona pandemic, we met only in Brussels for a very long time for good reason. For many people, the energy crisis is worse. That's why we have to react now as well."