The European Commission on 27 March 2013 took the first step towards developing a 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. It adopted a Green Paper which launches a public consultation on the content of the 2030 framework. The Commission also published a Consultative Communication on the future of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe, aimed at initiating a debate on the options available to ensure its timely development. Finally, the Commission adopted a report assessing Member States' progress towards their 2020 renewable energy targets and reports on the sustainability of biofuels and bioliquids consumed in the EU.

Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy said: "We need to define our climate and energy policy framework for 2030 as soon as possible to ensure proper investment that will give us sustainable growth, affordable competitive energy prices and greater energy security. The new framework must take into account the consequences of the economic crisis, but it must also be ambitious enough to meet the necessary long-term goal of cutting emissions 80-95% by 2050."


Death of Heinrich Hick

It is with deep regret and emotion that I must announce the death of Heinrich Hick, member of my Cabinet since February 2010 and previously official in the Directorate General for energy since 2008.


 Heinrich was as much a friend as a colleague to me and the other members of my cabinet. He inspired us all with his enthusiasm, his knowledge, his humour and optimism.


 My thoughts are with his wife and his children.


Scotland and the North Sea Grid

On 28 February – 1 March Commissioner Oettinger visited Scotland to meet members of Scottish Parliament and representatives of the government. He also met renewable energy stakeholders in Edinburgh and participated in a stakeholder's meeting on the North Sea Grid in Aberdeen.

Oettinger said: "I am happy that we have reached a political agreement on the Commission’s offshore safety proposal with the European Parliament and the Council. This is a major step enhancing the safety of offshore oil and gas production everywhere in the EU and very important for Scotland which is the EU’s largest petroleum producer region. Aberdeen is the centre of the North Sea oil and gas industry serving many offshore fields."