Policy Overview

The EU Hydrogen and Gas Market Decarbonization Package (Gas Package), is the review and revision of the Gas Directive 2009/73/EC and Gas Regulation (EC) No 715/2009, initiated as part of the EU's 'Fit for 55' Package to align policies with EU’s increased climate targets under the Green Deal. In its Inception Impact Assessment, the European Commission communicated the need to facilitate "a progressive phase out of unabated fossil gas via electrification and an uptake in renewable and low-carbon gases”, and strengthen the resilience of the gas system.

Policy At Risk

After intense negative policy engagement, from the oil and gas sector, the EU Hydrogen and Gas Market Decarbonization Package (Gas Package) is at risk of promoting fossil gas alongside renewable and low-carbon gases. In particular, efforts have been made to secure a role for the blending of fossil gas and hydrogen, likely to prolong the use of unabated fossil gas.

InfluenceMap Query

Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies

Policy Status

Under consideration: first reading in Parliament and Council.

European Parliament: ITRE Committee Rapporteur: Jerzy Buzek (EPP) (Regulation) European Parliament: ITRE Committee Rapporteur: Jens Geier (S&D) (Directive) European Council: Energy Council

Evidence Profile

269571910

European Commission

Lobbying Overview

Overview of Corporate and Industry Lobbying

The aggregated evidence of corporate and industry lobbying on the Gas Package proposal shows intense, negative engagement from the oil and gas value chain, despite some positive positions from the renewable energy and utilities sector.

Long-term Lobbying Trends

The oil and gas industry has promoted a role for unabated fossil gas, by advocating for the use of fossil gas to transition away from coal, not supporting measures to disincentivize unabated fossil gas use, and opposing the abolition of derogations (special treatment) for long-term fossil gas contracts. This included companies Snam, Uniper and Gazprom, and industry associations such as Eurogas and the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) in 2021-22.

The gas sector called for the inclusion of blending fossil gas and hydrogen, which would divert small levels of domestically produced hydrogen needed for hard-to-abate sectors towards the gas grid and could prolong the role of unabated fossil gas. This included companies RWE, Engie and Naturgy, and industry groups Gas Infrastructure Europe and Gas Distributors for Sustainability (GD4S).

The renewable energy and utilities sectors advocated for measures to decarbonize the gas network. Industry associations such as SolarPower Europe and WindEurope demanded support for only renewable hydrogen and not for low-carbon hydrogen produced with fossil gas and carbon capture and storage, and also advocated against the blending of fossil gas and hydrogen, in 2021. Utilities Enel and Iberdrola also supported electrification as a primary decarbonization method, and supported the conversion of gas infrastructure for hydrogen.

Since the EU Commission's 2021 Proposal

Major oil and gas companies continued calls to support unabated fossil gas, including BP, Equinor, Repsol. Industry group the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP) did not support the phase-out of unabated fossil gas contracts by 2049.

Gas sector companies supported the proposal’s inclusion of the blending of fossil gas and hydrogen in the gas network, including Snam, Wintershall Dea and Uniper.

A range of sectors advocated for hydrogen to not be fossil fuel-based, and against fossil gas and hydrogen blending. SSAB called for an ambitious definition of low-carbon hydrogen and Iberdrola was not in favor of the definition of low-carbon hydrogen including fossil-based hydrogen. Enel did not support blending and called for renewable hydrogen to only be used in hard-to-abate sectors.

Lobbying Impacts on Policy Ambition

By considering the potential scenarios in the EU Commission's original Impact Assessment Report for the EU Gas Package, and comparing this to the final proposal, a gauge of the impact of industry lobbying can be taken. In this case, intense engagement from the oil and gas industry appears to correlate with the adoption of several weaker positions by the EU Commission.

EU Commission Proposal

  • Hydrogen and fossil gas blending: The EU Commission’s proposal adopted measures to enable the blending of hydrogen with fossil gas across the existing gas grid, up to a blending cap of 5%. The EU gas industry strongly supported blending hydrogen in the gas network in 2021-22.

  • Defining low-carbon hydrogen: The proposed definition of low-carbon hydrogen does not differentiate between or clarify what hydrogen production methods will be included, for example, between nuclear and abated fossil fuel produced hydrogen.

  • Gas Package delegated act: The Commission will put forward a delegated act by 2024, which will specify the methodology for assessing GHG emissions savings from low-carbon fuels, although this will likely come into place after the legislation is confirmed by policymakers.

InfluenceMap Query

Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies

Policy Status

Under consideration: first reading in Parliament and Council.

European Parliament: ITRE Committee Rapporteur: Jerzy Buzek (EPP) (Regulation) European Parliament: ITRE Committee Rapporteur: Jens Geier (S&D) (Directive) European Council: Energy Council

Evidence Profile

269571910

European Commission

Live Lobbying Alerts

GasNaturally advocates to weaken EU energy policies

06 July 2022

In a 30th June position paper, GasNaturally advocated for the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive revision to reverse national bans on fossil gas technologies, including gas and hybrid boilers. Furthermore, GasNaturally called for the EU Hydrogen and Gas Decarbonization Package to provide clearer definitions for renewable and low-carbon gases in a 1st July position paper. However, the group also advocated for all forms of hydrogen to be supported in the scope of the policy.

Hydrogen Europe advocates for clear definitions of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen

30 June 2022

Hydrogen Europe advocated for clear definitions for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen under the EU's Hydrogen and Gas Decarbonization Package in a June 2022 position paper. The group also appeared to support the EU Commission's proposal to include hydrogen and fossil gas blending as a transitional measure.

Entities Engaged on Policy

The table below lists the entities found to be most engaged with the policy. InfluenceMap tracks over 350 companies and 150 industry associations globally. Each entity name links to its full InfluenceMap profile, where the evidence of its engagement can be found.

Influencemap Performance BandOrganizationEngagement Intensity
C-Shell63EnergyEurope
CBP60EnergyEurope
C-TotalEnergies52EnergyEurope
C-Eni38EnergyEurope
B+EDF60UtilitiesEurope
D-BusinessEurope53All SectorsEurope
C-European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)58ChemicalsEurope
CEuropean Round Table for Industry (ERT)20All SectorsEurope
D-International Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers (IFIEC)35All SectorsEurope
DFederation of German Industries (BDI)59All SectorsEurope