Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 04/2011

Linking an EU emission reduction target beyond 20 % to energy security in Central and Eastern Europe

Thomas Spencer, Anna Korppoo, Kai-Olaf Lang, Martin Kremer

March 2011

Finnish Institute for International Affairs


The Central and Eastern European Member States are expected to play a key role in the debate around future EU climate policy, including the potential move beyond a 20% greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target by 2020. Hungary and Poland hold the rotating EU Presidency in 2011, and energy security has been placed as a priority issue on both Presidency agendas. At the same time, energy security is a key issue in climate policy, particularly for the Central and Eastern European (CEE) Member States. Hungary’s ambassador for Energy Security, Mihaly Bayer, made the link explicit, saying “if we can settle energy security then we can deal with climate change more calmly”.1 It is important to gain an understanding of the actual underpinnings of the energy security debate in CEE, and of the impact of a more stringent 2020 reduction target for this region.