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Simone Tagliapietra

Simone Tagliapietra

Simone Tagliapietra is an expert in international energy and climate issues, with a record of numerous publications covering the European energy markets, the EU energy and climate policy and the Euro-Mediterranean energy relations, with a particular focus on Turkey. He holds a PhD in Institutions and Policies from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where he currently collaborates with the Department of International Economics, Institutions and Development.

Articles by Simone Tagliapietra

Poorest should be able to buy into decarbonisation

August 19, 2021

Climate action should be designed in a way that improves social equality.

Read the Letter published in the Financial Times.

Republishing and referencing
Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint.
Due to copyright agreements we ask that you kindly email request to republish opinions that have appeared in print to [email protected].

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Science is clear: climate action can’t wait any longer

August 9, 2021

Without immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the world will not be able to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement – and, therefore, will not be able to limit the devastating impacts of climate change.

Read the piece published by Domani and El Economista.

Republishing and referencing
Bruegel considers itself a public good and takes no institutional standpoint.
Due to copyright agreements we ask that you kindly email request to republish opinions that have appeared in print to [email protected].

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A Safety Net for the Green Economy

July 20, 2021

Fit for 55 marks Europe’s climate moment of truth
With Fit for 55, Europe is the global first mover in turning a long-term net-zero goal into real-world policies,
marking the entry of climate policy into the daily life of all citizens and businesses.

By: Simone Tagliapietra
Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance
Date: July 14, 2021

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Fit for 55 marks Europe’s climate moment of truth

July 14, 2021

With Fit for 55, Europe is the global first mover in turning a long-term net-zero goal into real-world policies,
marking the entry of climate policy into the daily life of all citizens and businesses.

The author is grateful to Maria Demertzis, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann for their comments on previous drafts.

The European Commission’s long-awaited ‘Fit for 55’ package, intended to facilitate a European Union greenhouse gas emissions cut of 55% by 2030 compared to 1990, has as its core mission to turn the 2020s into a transformative decade for climate action. If agreed and implemented, the Fit for 55 proposals (Figure 1) would both deepen and broaden the decarbonisation of Europe’s economy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. Without the package, under current EU climate

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Letter: ‘Strategic autonomy’ is now an EU catchphrase

March 24, 2021

Strategic autonomy should not be an illusionary search for independence, but rather a strategic management of interdependence, based on diversification of supply chains.
By:
Simone Tagliapietra
Date: March 24, 2021
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This Letter was originally published in the Financial Times in response to an opinion by Philip Stephens on supply chain ‘sovereignty’.

Philip Stephens’ article “Supply chain ‘sovereignty’ will undo the gains of globalisation” (Opinion, March 19) rightly draws attention to the danger of the search for national “resilience” — or “strategic autonomy”, as we say in Brussels — turning into protectionism.
Over the past two years, strategic autonomy has become one of the most utilised catchphrases in European policy circles.

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2021 can be a climate breakthrough, but Biden and Europe need to talk

November 9, 2020

"2021 can be a breakthrough year for climate: the new US administration and the EU have a real opportunity, through a ‘global net zero coalition’, to remove some of the key bottlenecks in the global path to climate neutrality."
After four years of absence and boycott, in 2021 the United States will make a comeback to the global climate action scene.
The process is already set in motion.
Climate change represents –alongside the pandemic, the economic crisis, and racial injustice– one of the four pillars of the Biden-Harris transition team, which will lay the foundations of the administration.
Once sworn into office, Joe Biden is set to immediately re-enrol the US in the Paris climate agreement and to start promoting his plan for climate change and environmental justice.
The plan, aimed at

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Understanding the world of tomorrow through the great challenges of energy and climate change

October 26, 2020

“Only a broad policy framework – taking into account economic, fiscal, industrial, labour, innovation and social policy issues – can address the challenges of the climate crisis in a balanced way.”
Energy plays a fundamental role in our societies and in our daily lives – without energy we would not be able to carry out the simplest activities: taking a hot shower in the morning, preparing breakfast, taking the children to school by car and then working on the computer, possibly in a suitably air-conditioned office. Industry, agriculture and trade depend on energy supply for their activities. Put simply: energy is a key prerequisite for our daily life.
Energy resources underpin the development of the international orders of modern history: coal was the backdrop for the British Empire in the

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The European climate law needs a strong just transition fund

October 6, 2020

To deliver on the goals of the European climate law, the European Union needs finally to get coal out of its energy mix: the EU should quicken the pace of decarbonisation whilst delivering on its goal of social inclusion.

The European Parliament will vote this week (7 October) on the Commission’s proposal for a European climate law, which would make binding a goal for the European Union of climate neutrality by 2050 and an intermediate emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990. After the Parliament, it will be the turn of EU leaders to have their say with a deal now expected at the European Council meeting in December.
As discussed in a recent blogpost, the adoption of the European climate law would be an important and necessary step in the EU decarbonisation

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COVID-19 is causing the collapse of oil markets: when will they recover?

April 23, 2020

This oil crisis will be solved only by a pick-up in global oil demand, once lockdowns are lifted and the economy is restarted.
On 20 April 2020 the oil price made history. The US benchmark oil contract – known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI) – ended the day at minus $37/barrel, entering negative territory for the first time. So much oil was available, with so little demand for it from a global economy in lockdown, and barely any space left to store it, that producers and traders had to pay buyers to take it off their hands. Having seen negative nominal interest rates, we have now also seen a negative price for a real commodity: two ‘impossible’ events taking place in a relatively short time.
How could this happen?
Lockdown measures put in place to contain the spread of COVID-19 represent

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What if the rest of Europe follows Italy’s coronavirus fate?

March 11, 2020

By: Simone Tagliapietra Date: March 11, 2020 Topic: Global Economics & Governance The silence. That’s what struck me most hauntingly on the first morning of our quarantine in Milan. A surreal silence that reminded me of the deserted streets of Wuhan which we saw from the safe distance of TV just a few weeks ago. Back then the Chinese city at the centre of China’s coronavirus epidemic appeared to me like the set of a science fiction movie. But now it felt like I was being sucked into the same movie. With every breath we were living the dread and anxiety spread by the invisible menace of Covid-19.A couple of days on, things feel different. Fear has morphed into an urgent sense of the responsibility to preserve life. Many of us share the intuition that locking down the country is

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The European Green Deal must cut hidden fossil fuel subsidies

March 4, 2020

Brussels should ensure that fossil fuels do not get direct or indirect support from governmentsOne of the basic ideas in economics is that you tend to get the best results if people or firms that take decisions have to take account of all the benefits and costs. Climate change and pollution perhaps represent the two most evident examples of situations where that may not happen. Emitters and polluters have no incentive to consider the impact of their emissions and pollution for society as a whole. It is what economics textbooks call an ‘externality’: the adverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions or pollution are ‘external’ to the market, which means there is usually only an ethical – rather than an economic – incentive for firms and consumers to reduce their emissions. That is, when free

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To save the Italian economy from the Coronavirus, Rome prescribes a stimulus

March 3, 2020

Faced with a difficult prognosis, the Italian government has prescribed a three-step strategy to treat the worse economic symptoms of the Coronavirus. The medicine is money and the dosage is €4.5 billionOn February 21, Italian authorities announced that a 38-year-old Italian man from the town of Codogno, 60 km southeast of Milan, had tested positive for the virus. Within ten days, more than 1,800 people had caught the disease, of whom around 50 had died.As the number of cases increased, so did the concern about the economic repercussions for the country. But these will mainly depend on how long the current situation will last, a factor that no one can reasonably predict. So what’s at stake? And what kind of strategy has the Italian government adopted in the face of this situation?What’s at

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Eastern Mediterranean Gas: What Prospects for the New Decade?

February 25, 2020

The last decade has seen the eastern Mediterranean region become a hotspot of the global natural gas industry, attracting increasing attention from multiple stakeholders also as a result of its high geopolitical stakes. Notwithstanding this momentum, progress has been bumpy.The eastern Mediterranean gas saga started in 2009-2011, with the discovery of the Tamar and Leviathan fields off the shore of Israel and the Aphrodite field off the shore of Cyprus. To exploit this potential, an increasing number of export options were progressively put on the table, ranging from pipelines (one to Greece, another to Turkey) to LNG plants (respectively in Cyprus, Israel and Egypt). Great expectations characterised those years, as the new gas discoveries were also promoted as a tool to foster a new era

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Europe’s Apollo 11 will not be about the moon

December 13, 2019

The European Green Deal has an ambitious double target to “reconcile the economy with the planet” and to become Europe’s “new growth strategy”.“This is Europe’s ‘man on the moon’ moment.” These are the bold words used by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen 11 days into her job as she presented her plan for a ‘European Green Deal’ aimed at creating the first climate-neutral continent by 2050.The plan includes 50 ideas, spanning from carbon pricing to green investments, from just transition measures to sustainable food systems, from a circular economy to sustainable mobility. Measures proposed under the plan include the introduction of a ‘Sustainable Europe Investment Plan’ aimed at unleashing green investments across the continent, and the creation of a Just Transition

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Under swollen tides, Venice says more about our future than our past

November 18, 2019

While tides high enough to submerge Venice used to be rare, occurring every two to three decades, they have now become increasingly regular. Five of the ten highest tides in recorded history occurred over the last 20 years, with the most recent one having occurred just last year. Is this the new normal?Hundreds of millions have visited Venice to understand our history, but today it’s a monument to the decades ahead.As a Venetian, I feel devastated. Seeing St Mark’s Basilica flooded is like watching a family heirloom drift away downstream. While the sight of gondolas being smashed against their moorings, while houses and shops soak has felt like a faceless assault against the Italian way of life. The city is used to dealing with the acqua alta (high water), notably during the winter when

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The importance of economic diversification in the Middle East

October 2, 2019

Simone Tagliapietra’s latest opinion on the Financial Times, on the role of Middle East as cornerstones of global energyThe recent attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities have highlighted the role of the world’s largest oil exporter and of the overall Middle East as cornerstones of global energy.They also underlined the persistent risk of volatility in oil prices and the importance of economic diversification in the region’s petrostates, which governments have been addressing but, so far, with limited success.Historically, Middle Eastern petrostates have turned to diversification during periods of low oil prices, typically proposing various initiatives to increase the private sector’s role in the economy, encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to create jobs and invest in

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Coming soon: a massive laboratory for ‘Green New Deals’

October 1, 2019

Green New Deals’ are not going to turn countries into ‘hermit nations’,but they are not going to turn countries into economic paradises either. They simply are tools to achieve something more basic: ensure that climate change does not compromise our life in this planet. And this already looks like a good reason for them to be well worth our time.This article was also published in MediumMany on the American right view the ‘Green New Deal’ as an unrealistic, Soviet-style, fantasy destined to turn the country into a ‘hermit nation’, but such a project is now about to be tested on half-billion people across the Atlantic.Ursula von der Leyen, the incoming chief of the European Union’s powerful administrative branch, adopted the ‘European Green Deal’ as her top political priority.For the first

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Questions to the First Executive Vice President-designate Timmermans

September 25, 2019

For the first time ever, a large economy will cut a path to climate neutrality by 2050 – a milestone that scientists consider to be the only sensible way to protect the world from the more dramatic impacts of climate change.Ursula von der Leyen adopted the European Green Deal as a top political priority for her incoming Commission, pledging to make it ‘Europe’s hallmark’.Should this experiment succeed, the European Green Deal might become a seminal blueprint for other economies around the world; a tangible example that pursuing climate neutrality is not only technically feasible but also economically and politically viable.In the von der Leyen Commission, the European Green Deal will primarily belong to the ‘First Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal’, whose designate is Mr

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The Democrats need to have a climate-only TV debate. For Americans and for the rest of us

August 6, 2019

A series of global summits mean the months between now and November 2020 will be crucial to the future of climate change. By: Simone Tagliapietra Date: August 6, 2019 Topic: Global Economics & Governance When Catholics are busy choosing a new Pope the whole world watches Italy and when Americans are busy choosing a new president, the whole of Italy watches America. We used to watch for entertainment, but these days we watch because we’re scared.For American voters, climate change now represents a top-tier issue — and Democratic candidates have accordingly put on it increasing emphasis. After all, global warming can well turn out to be a winning issue for them, considering that — according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll— only 29 percent of Americans approve Mr. Trump’s

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The impact of the global energy transition on MENA oil and gas producers

August 5, 2019

Endowed with half of the world’s known oil and gas reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is cornerstone of the global energy architecture. This article argues that – together with the pressing need to create jobs opportunities for a large and youthful population – the possibility of the world moving more aggressively towards a low-carbon future should represent a key argument for the implementation of economic reform programmes.Endowed with half of the world’s known oil and gas reserves, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is cornerstone of the global energy architecture. The global low-carbon energy transition poses critical questions to MENA oil and gas producers, as it may imply sustained pressure on their development models, which rely heavily on

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Von der Leyen’s Green Deal isn’t just a plan for the environment

July 18, 2019

Ursula von der Leyen’s proposal of a European Green Deal is ambitious and urgent. Not only does it aim to reduce the continent’s emissions, but it also has the potential to grow the EU’s economy and transform the bloc’s politics.

This week, as part of her impassioned pitch to MEPs, Ursula von der Leyen established climate change as the priority for her prospective European Commission, promising to deliver a European Green Deal –in her first 100 days–able to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. But can a deal be agreed? And what’s stopped Europe acting until now?
The deal is good for Europe, and for the world.
It is good for Europe because deep decarbonisation represents a historical occasion to modernise its economy, revitalise its industry and ensure long-term

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EU urgently needs to reverse its climate neutrality failure

June 28, 2019

Immediate action is necessary to ensure the EU can become carbon-neutral by 2050 and thus limit global warming. The rapid rise in support of this target in the last month suggests it is attainable, but the momentum must not be lost.

European leaders failed this month to adopt a target to make the bloc climate-neutral by 2050, due to opposition from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary and Poland.
The target, which implied that by 2050 Europe would have to absorb as much greenhouse gas as it emits, has gathered momentum over the last month. Since May, the number of countries backing the target has risen from eight to 24. By European standards, this represents a surprisingly quick political development. It also suggests that remaining resistance can be overturned, and that the 2050

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Elections must put Europe on a path to a green future

May 8, 2019

We are at a pivotal moment for the future of Europe. It is an opportunity to reflect on the fundamental values and visions underlying the European project, and on the future direction of this common journey. Climate change should be at the centre of this reflection.

On May 9th, European leaders will convene in Sibiu, Romania, for an informal European Council meeting aimed at discussing a new strategic agenda for the institutional cycle (2019-2024) that will follow the European elections of the end of May. With two weeks remaining until the vote, this summit takes place at a pivotal moment for the future of Europe. It is an opportunity to reflect on the fundamental values and visions underlying the European project, and on the future direction of this common journey.
Climate change

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New EU industrial policy can only succeed with focus on completion of single market and public procurement

March 18, 2019

France and Germany recently unveiled a manifesto for a European industrial policy fit for the 21st century, sparking a lively debate across the continent. The fundamental idea underpinning the manifesto is a good one: Europe does need an industrial policy to ensure that EU companies remain highly competitive globally, notwithstanding strong competition from China and other big players. However, the Franco-German priorities are unsuitable for the pursuit of this goal.
By:
Simone Tagliapietra
Date: March 18, 2019
Topic: European Macroeconomics & Governance

This article was first published by Le Monde.

France and Germany recently unveiled a manifesto for a European industrial policy fit for the 21st century, sparking a lively

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An opportunity for natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean

March 12, 2019

After a decade of false starts, producers should grab the chance to co-operate as exporters.

The past few months have been busy for the eastern Mediterranean gas sector. After nearly a decade of speculation about the potential of the region’s resources, recent developments seem finally to have set it in the right direction.
In January, energy ministers from Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Jordan and Israel, with representatives from Italy and the Palestinian Authority, met in Cairo to discuss regional co-operation in offshore gas.
The result was the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF), a platform aimed at developing a regional natural gas market and taking advantage of existing liquefied natural gas (LNG) infrastructure in Egypt.It followed an agreement in December between Egypt and

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The geopolitical implications of the global energy transition

March 7, 2019

Energy has traditionally played an important role in global geopolitics, contributing to the rise of great powers, the formation of alliances and, in many cases, also to the emergence of wars and conflicts. Every international order in modern history has been based on an energy resource. This piece discusses how the ongoing low-carbon energy transformation could reshape global geopolitics in the future.

Since the First World War, oil has undoubtedly been the cornerstone of global energy geopolitics. The decision of the then First Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill to change the fuel source of the Royal Navy warships from coal to oil, in order to make the fleet faster than its German counterpart, marked the opening of a new era. The shift from secure coal supplies from Wales to

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The UN climate conference in Katowice: A message from the European capital of coal

December 12, 2018

Following the COP24 climate talks in Poland, Simone Tagliapietra reviews the arguments for and challenges to decarbonisation.

This opinion piece was originally published in Die Zeit.

This year’s United Nations climate-change conference (COP24) opened this week in Katowice, the European capital of coal. Over the next days, the international delegates who have converged on the Polish city to negotiate a rule-book to make the Paris Agreement work will frequently experience the thick blanket of smog characterising the city: a material reminder of the urgency to move towards a clean-energy world.
Given the most recent trends in global CO2 emissions, even such a reminder is particularly welcomed. In fact, the world is currently well short of the trajectory agreed in Paris to tackle

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A new strategy for EU-Turkey energy cooperation

December 5, 2018

Cooperation over energy and climate issues could be one of the components of the EU-Turkey Positive Agenda. Simone Tagliapietra proposes a new strategy for EU-Turkey energy cooperation, which envisions a shift of focus from gas and electricity to fields such as renewables and nuclear energy.

Energy cooperation could be one of the few components of the EU-Turkey Positive Agenda, as strong mutual interests encourage cooperation even during politically difficult times. However, the energy part of the Positive Agenda arguably requires a rethink. Over the last decades, gas and electricity have represented the main components of this cooperation. Albeit highly visible, cooperation in these fields appears to be limited in practice. On the contrary, cooperation in other fields – such

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The Euro-Mediterranean energy relationship: a fresh perspective

October 16, 2018

The author analyses the current renewable energy development in Southern Mediterranean countries (SMCs) and proposes a climate financing strategy that retreats from the Eurocentric approach. Not only will it allow the region to meet its energy demand sustainably, it will also benefit the EU, both in economic and political terms.

The issue
Energy is a fundamental component of the economic relationship between the European Union and southern Mediterranean countries, largely driven, so far, by Europe’s quest for oil and gas supplies. However, given the booming energy demand in southern Mediterranean countries and their great solar and wind potential, regional energy cooperation should also strongly focus on fostering large-scale deployment of renewable energy. This would allow

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The impact of global decarbonisation policies and technological improvements on oil and gas producing countries in the Middle East and North Africa

October 3, 2018

Bruegel Annual Meetings 2018
The 2018 Annual Meetings will be held on 3-4 September and will feature sessions on European and global economic governance, as well as finance, energy and innovation.

Speakers: Maria Åsenius, Richard E. Baldwin, Carl Bildt, Barbara Botos, Maria Demertzis, Benjamin Denis, Lowri Evans, Mariya Gabriel, Svend E. Hougaard Jensen, Joanne Kellermann, Jörg Kukies, Emmanuel Lagarrigue, Philippe Lespinard, Rachel Lomax, Dominique Moïsi, Jean Pierre Mustier, Ana Palacio, Jean Pisani-Ferry, Lucrezia Reichlin, Norbert Röttgen, André Sapir, Johan Van Overtveldt, Martin Sandbu, Margrethe Vestager, Reinhilde Veugelers, Nicolas Véron, Thomas Wieser, Guntram B. Wolff and Georg Zachmann
Topic: Energy & Climate, European Macroeconomics & Governance,

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