The European Union (EU) published a package of documents on October 18 related to an action plan to implement the European Green Deal and the REPowerEU Plan, both of which aim to save energy by digitizing the energy sector. European energy planners have their sights set on crypto miners along with myriad other energy users.
The REPowerEU Plan was announced in May in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has had a profound impact on Europe’s energy supply. The Russian crisis was an opportunity to “fast-forward the clean transition,” the European Commission said. “Control the energy consumption of the ICT sector” is an important part of the plan and includes blockchains among the objects of its attention as a subset of data centers.
Green Deal: the light at the end of the crisis tunnel https://t.co/CAd5uorW9y
The faster we implement the European Green Deal, the faster we will become crisis-proof. Brussels must resist the siren songs of inertia. pic.twitter.com/Z71niRzX8H
— Social Europe (@socialeurope) October 17, 2022
The “Commission Staff Working Paper” notes that Europe accounts for about 10% of global crypto mining, with Germany and Ireland leading the continent and Sweden seeing a huge increase in activity after China banned mining. The document provides for the European Securities and Markets Authority to develop technical standards for the crypto mining industry.
The paper’s authors cited an undated paper authored by the European Blockchain Observatory and Forum (EUBOF) think tank, which included “potential policy options that might be warranted to mitigate the adverse climate impacts of technologies used in the blockchain market.” cryptoassets”. That document will be central to a report on the environmental impact of crypto assets to be published in 2025. If action is taken on the EUBOF recommendations, they noted:
“This would be a first worldwide attempt to diminish the attractiveness of bitcoin investments and drive down the price of bitcoin.”
The document also stated that investors need better information on the energy use of cryptocurrencies and, echoing the EUBOF document, that the EU should take the lead in creating international blockchain label standards.
Related: Researchers Allege Bitcoin’s Climate Impact Is Closer to ‘Digital Crude’ Than Gold
The “Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions” said that energy use for crypto mining has doubled in the last two years. He noted that the proposed legislation on Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) would require crypto asset market players to make environmental disclosures.
Meanwhile, due to the difficult energy situation this winter due to disruptions in Russia’s energy supply, the European Commission, the executive branch of the EU, urges member states to “implement specific and proportionate measures to reduce the electricity consumption of cryptocurrencies.” asset miners [… and] also in a longer-term perspective, to end tax breaks and other fiscal measures that benefit crypto miners.” Norway is already considering removing tax exemptions for crypto miners.
Speaking in Washington recently, Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union Commissioner Mairead McGuinness said that Europe attaches great importance to energy and environmental issues related to cryptocurrencies. The administration of US President Joe Biden has also looked at the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies.
This post Europe moves towards regulatory action on the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies and energy use
was published first on https://cointelegraph.com/news/europe-moves-toward-regulatory-action-on-crypto-s-environmental-impact-energy-use