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05.02.2014

EU climate and energy policy

Call for binding EU climate and energy targets for 2030 must be heeded by governments

The European Parliament today adopted a report setting out the EP's position in the debate on the EU's climate and energy policy to 2030. The Greens welcomed the support for binding EU climate and energy targets for 2030, coming just weeks after the Commission presented proposals lacking in ambition. Commenting after the vote, Green climate spokesperson Bas Eickhout said:

"The European Parliament has today sent a clear signal to EU governments: binding 2030 targets for renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gases are an essential bedrock for any EU policy. Coming just weeks after the weak proposals from the European Commission, today's vote should reorient the debate and give EU governments a mandate to take the right decision when they consider the 2030 roadmap at their March summit.

"The EU should not repeat the mistake made with the lack of ambition in its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target as this has undermined the effectiveness of overall climate policy and key instruments like the emissions trading scheme. To this end, we should be aiming for a 60% reduction by 2030, which various scenarios have made clear is possible with ambitious policies on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Unfortunately, MEPs today voted to endorse the weak 40% target proposed by the Commission."

Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes added:

"2030 is the next crucial milestone for European climate and energy policy and it is important that the fossil fuel and nuclear lobbies understand that our energy future lies with renewables and efficiency. Clear and ambitious targets would provide much-needed investor certainty, not only in the energy sector but for innovative industries in general across Europe. They would not only ensure the effectiveness of EU climate policy and boost energy security but also maximise potential job creation from all related sectors.

"Given the undeniable success of the 2020 renewable energy target, it is imperative that the EU continues the momentum and adopts a binding 2030 target, with binding national sub-targets. In contrast, the overall 'headline target' proposed by the Commission for 2030 is not just devoid of ambition, it is also little more than an aspirational goal, with no binding provisions on EU member states. A binding 45% target for 2030 would be ambitious but realistic, according to various scenarios. Regrettably, MEPs today only went as far as calling for a 30% share.

"EU member states are falling short of meeting the non-binding 2020 energy savings target. This mistake should be rectified and we need an ambitious and binding 2030 target for reducing energy consumption by up to 40%, a call that was backed by MEPs today. We now hope EU governments will recognise today's vote and back 3 binding targets at their summit in March."