Looking ahead: EuropeOn priorities in 2024

The EuropeOn team is back in the office, starting to plan ahead for 2024. Clearly this will be a busy year!

Of course you may be thinking the same, it’s an election year after all. We’re all preparing for the new European Parliament and Commission to take office (respectively in June and November) and see in which direction the wind is blowing. We’re especially looking forward to a new legislature that will keep Europe on track to deliver on its energy and climate commitments all the while fostering local job creation.

This can be summed up in one word: electrification. Europe needs to concretise its recent advances on climate and energy with a dedicated electrification action plan that EuropeOn is calling for, along with the Electrification Alliance. This will be the linchpin to set into motion the transformation towards a cleaner, more resilient and healthier Europe, and to get rid of fossil fuels once and for all. It will provide all involved European actors, consumers, industries, workers and employers with the predictability needed to adjust in due time, contribute but most importantly reap the full benefits of the energy transition.

This also means accompanying measures, such as acting on the necessary human resources. The potential for job creation is massive but the new legislature must ensure that swift action is taken to make clean energy jobs attractive and redress the misconceptions around technical careers. We need a bold step forward to enact change and secure the technical profiles that Europe direly needs to become climate neutral in time. A the same time, we have to cater to our current workforce by providing workers with appealing upskilling opportunities enabling them to face technological change.

But while we wait for our new politicians to take office and start on a new political programme, we still have our work cut out to follow up on the Green Deal policies that have just been adopted after close to 5 years of discussions. 

The Directives for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency have recently been signed into law and are now being transposed into national legislation. But there are already some provisions kicking in this year, which we’ll be following closely. Under the new Energy Efficiency Directive, Member States will have to report on workforce gaps and their actions to address it, and the Commission will have to work on an attractiveness campaign for energy efficiency professions. Both these provisions come with a 2024 deadline, so stay tuned for our recommendations for implementation coming soon!

Towards the end of 2023, negotiators reached an agreement on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (read more herewhich will give a new impetus to construction, energy renovations, electro-mobility and much more. While it has yet to be formally adopted, we’ll follow its transposition and implementation closely to, among others, ensure that the workforce dimension is well considered. And while direct references to electrical installations were removed from the text during the though negotiations, they are still just as crucial to energy efficient buildings and should be highlighted when issuing recommendations for implementation of EPBD provisions.

We’ll also keep an eye out for the proposal for the new 2040 climate target that should come out in early 2024. It will provide new trajectories for sub-targets related to decarbonisation of all sectors, energy efficiency, deployment of renewables, etc. 

Finally, we also have some strictly EuropeOn milestones coming up this year. Indeed, our association is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year! We’ll mark this occasion with an event towards the end of the year and will take this pretext to revisit our Sector Report. Stay tuned for more.