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15.12.2015

EU Energy Union

EU energy policy direction at odds with UN climate agreement

The European Parliament today adopted two reports setting out its position on the European Energy Union and the proposal for a 10% target for electricity interconnectivity across the EU. Commenting on the vote on the EP's position on the Energy Union, Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:

"The direction of EU energy policy is at odds with the commitments Europe has taken under the UN climate agreement in Paris. The Paris climate agreement implies that the EU step up efforts to phase-out fossil fuels and move towards an economy powered by sustainable energy. Unfortunately, so far, we are failing to deliver on the promise of the Energy Union proposal: the Commission's proposal lacks ambition, EU governments are lagging and, as evidenced by today's vote, the European Parliament is failing to put real pressure on them to change tack.

"Importantly, MEPs renewed their call for the EU to increase its 2030 energy efficiency target to 40% and make this binding and for the Commission to work on this. The current 27% target is low on ambition and will mean we fail to capitalise on the economic and employment benefits across Europe. On renewable energy, we are also slipping behind. Europe needs to do more do deliver on President Juncker's promise of making Europe the 'world number one' on renewable energy and we need a clear strategy to this end."

Commenting on the report on the proposal for a 10% target for electricity interconnectivity across the EU, Green MEP Peter Eriksson, who is the EP's rapporteur/draftsman on the interconnectivity target, said:

"Ensuring a much higher level of interconnectivity between national power systems is essential for ensuring a more flexible, decentralised and sustainable energy sector, and facilitating an increase of renewable energy. An overall 10% target can help to this end but this must be backed up by regional goals and indicators to take account of the differing situations across Europe and ensure a well-integrated electricity market. MEPs have today supported this. A more interdependent system requires improved European coordination and this implies a greater role for the EU's energy regulators agency (ACER)."

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Richard More O'Ferrall

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