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State aid: Commission endorses the new Guidelines on State aid for Climate, Environmental protection and Energy

The College of Commissioners yesterday endorsed the new Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy (‘CEEAG'). The CEEAG will be formally adopted in January 2022 and will be applicable from that moment. The new rules involve an alignment with the important EU objectives and targets set out in the European Green Deal and with other recent regulatory changes in the energy and environmental areas and cater for the increased importance of climate protection. The new rules create a flexible, fit-for-purpose enabling framework to help Member States provide the necessary support to reach the European Green Deal objectives in a targeted and cost-effective manner.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, yesterday said:

Europe will need a considerable amount of sustainable investments to support its green transition. Although a significant share will come from the private sector, public support will play a role in ensuring that the green transition happens fast. The new Guidelines endorsed today will increase everything we do to decarbonise our society. Among others, they will facilitate investments by Member States, including in renewables, to accelerate the achievement of our Green Deal, in a cost-effective way. This is a major step to ensuring that our State aid rules play their full role in supporting the European Green Deal.”

The State aid rules endorsed yesterday support projects for environmental protection, including climate protection and green energy generation. They include sections to support the decarbonisation of the economy in a broad and flexible manner open to all technologies that can contribute to the European Green Deal, including renewables, energy efficiency measures, aid for clean mobility, infrastructure, circular economy, pollution reduction, protection and restoration of biodiversity as well as measures to ensure security of energy supply. The rules aim at helping Member States meet their ambitious EU energy and climate targets, at the least possible cost for taxpayers and without undue distortions of competition in the Single Market. The Guidelines also aim at facilitating the participation of renewable energy communities and SMEs, as important drivers for the green transition.

The revised Guidelines include important adjustments to align the rules with the Commission's strategic priorities, in particular those set out in the European Green Deal, and with other recent regulatory changes and Commission proposals in the energy and environmental areas, including the Fit for 55 package.

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