MEPs call for binding 2030 climate targets

9th January 2014

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Anthony Kubale

European targets to improve energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and increase renewable energy generation in 2030 should be mandatory, say MEPs

Members of the European Parliament’s energy and environment committees have today (9 January) voted in favour of proposals that would impose legally-binding climate change targets across the bloc up to 2030.

Under current EU policy, member states have committed to the so-called “20-20-20” goals – reducing carbon emissions by 20% on 1990 levels, sourcing 20% of energy from renewable sources and boosting energy efficiency by 20% by 2020. While the bloc is on track to meet its mandatory CO2 and renewable energy targets, it is unlikely to hit its voluntary energy efficiency goal.

The draft report, backed by the parliament’s energy and environment committees, calls for a “binding 2030 EU energy efficiency target of 40%”, alongside mandatory carbon reduction and renewable energy targets.

However, the European commission, which is due to outline its proposals for 2030 goals on 22 January in its new climate and energy policy framework, is expected to resist setting any target on energy efficiency and to move away from legally-binding goals on renewable energy generation.

Stefan Scheuer, secretary general for the Coalition for Energy Savings, warned against such an approach. “This [the MEPs vote] is a clear and timely call to the European commission and member states to abandon the dangerous path of dropping the three-target approach that has been evolving since 2007.

“It confirms that making the efficiency target binding is the only way forward to capture the huge energy savings possible.”

In December, energy ministers from eight European countries, including Germany and France, wrote to climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard calling for a 2030 target on renewable energy generation. The ministers argued that a “robust, long-term framework” in support of renewables was necessary to secure investment.

The European parliament will vote on adopting the committees’ report at the beginning of February and negotiations with commission and member states on the 2030 targets will begin in March.

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