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EconMin: Romania will have freedom to choose how it reaches its environment targets until 2030

The European Union will take into account the energy specifics of each country, and Romania will have the freedom to choose how it will reach the environment targets until 2030, wrote, on Friday, the Minister of Economy, Energy and the Business Environment, Virgil Popescu, on his Facebook page.

"In the European Council there was an agreement reached regarding the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by at least 55 pct until 2030. The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, announced that Romania has ensured that its interests are covered, including by the maintaining of the decision regarding the national energy mix and the use of gas in the transition process. Another important aspect is that the European union will take into account the energy specifics of each country, and Romania will have the freedom to choose how to reach these environment targets," Popescu underlined on in the post.

He mentioned that Romania will have at its disposal European funds to help especially mining areas, dependent on coal, such as the Jiu River Valley, and 30 pct of all European funds in the next seven years will be used for projects that contribute to the reduction of carbon emissions.

"The objective to reduce carbon emissions will be reached by the EU states in the most efficient way possible from a cost point of view. All the member-states will participate in this effort, on the basis of the principles of equity and solidarity, without anyone being left behind. The new objective for 2030 must be reached in a way that maintains the EU's competitiveness and takes into consideration the different starting points of the member states, the specific national circumstances and the potential for reduction of these emissions. The European Council recognizes the need to ensure interconnections, energy security for all member states, so that energy comes at an accessible price for all citizens and companies," the Economy Minister also wrote.

Earlier, Niculae Havrilet, Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy, told Energynomics that talks with Brussels were positive, and the EU executive understood that Romania had its own gas and could enjoy special treatment.

In the case of Romania, they said it was a special case, because we have our gas. We can support the gas, but it should be included in some economically sustainable projects for a longer period of time – that is, if we keep doing it, let’s do something good,” said Havrilet.

Let’s keep in mind that in a short time – 10-15 years is a short period of time – the gas will be replaced, and then everything we do must be high-performance investments based on gas. It should last about 30 years. They (EC) said that yes, we can, we have this opportunity, we have to use it, but to consider viable long-term projects, when we use gas,” he added.

However, will funding continue, in the context in which many international financial institutions no longer want to finance hydrocarbon projects? 

It will be financed, I think that in our case they will give us (financing), others would not obtain it, that want to import gas from Russia. They issued a statement (EC) that decarbonisation can also be done using gas as a transition fuel, but with great care, and to ensure that the technologies we propose are state-of-the-art, cost-effective, and so on – and from the point of view of the environmental opinion, to respect the DNH procedure (does not harm), to have not a very negative impact on the environment. It is a discussion at the EC to use gas carefully and not just depend on it. But I say let’s move on to renewables… Subsidies will also be given (for renewables). Let’s see how hard the renewables will enter the market,” Havrilet added.

President Klaus Iohannis participated, on Thursday and Friday, in Brussels, in the meeting of the European Council, the main subjects on the agenda of the reunion being the negotiations for the 2021-2027 Multiannual Financial Framework and the European plan for economic recovery, but also reaching an agreement for a new climate objective for 2030.