The European Commission has today presented its Winter Package, containing a series of legislative proposals on the future energy policy of the European Union. The proposals fall far short of what will be needed to match the ambitions agreed under the Paris Agreement.
Commenting on the proposals, Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:
"The Commission's proposals reveal a troubling lack of vision resulting in holistic emptiness. President Juncker promised to make Europe number one in renewables and insisted that the energy transition is a priority for the Commission. But the details of today's announcement fall far short of matching that rhetoric and maintain privileges for existing coal and nuclear. Under these plans, Europe faces a lost decade for energy transition: the target of a 27% share for renewables would be equivalent to halving the rate of new capacity installed annually over the next decade compared to between 2010 and 2020. To put the brakes on renewable energy ambition while continuing to subsidise fossil fuels via capacity mechanisms is at odds with what the Commission has promised, and with what is urgently needed. The only good news is that the mobilisation of progressive forces led to the introduction of emission performance standards which should at least prevent the building of new coal capacity in Europe.
"While there is some progress on energy efficiency, again, the ambition is lacking. With a timid 30% energy savings proposed for 2030, the target falls short of the 40% demanded by the Parliament, which is needed to fight climate change, create jobs and growth, reduce energy poverty and reduce energy dependency."
Green environment spokesperson Bas Eickhout added:
"The Commission continues to turn a blind eye to the environmental risks of bioenergy, failing to establish meaningful safeguards. Their proposals still leave space for biofuels that displace agricultural production and fail to move to a dynamic, performance based approach to advanced fuels. The new sustainability safeguards for biomass fail to address the climate risks of using sources other than waste and residues, or resource efficiency.
"The European Union has a responsibility to align its policies to what it committed to in Paris last year. Instead, it has presented one big compromise, that will go some way to appeasing the Member States and energy companies that wish to continue with fossil fuels, but do painfully little to meet our international responsibilities or seize the opportunities offered by energy transition."