At the end of this month, the European Commission is to publish a communication on the energy and climate package for 2030.
The Parliament has started debating the subject a few months ago. The discussions are heated between those who favour a single greenhouse gas reduction target only and those - like the Members of the Greens/EFA group – who argue in favour of two additional targets in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
A few days ago, eight EU environment ministers wrote a letter to both EU Energy and Climate Commissioners underlining the importance of of having a robust target for renewable energy use to cut dependency on fossil fuel imports and boost jobs and the economy.
The Greens have explained several times the necessity for Europe to go for three binding targets to be able to make the transition to a sustainable green economy that will create green jobs, provide the certainty industry needs for its investments, enable european citizens to save money on their energy bills and ensure Europe’s energy independence and safety.
As mentioned in one of our latest blogs where we commented on the last UN climate negotiations, Europe will have a tremendous responsibility in 2015: At the COP21 that will be organised in Paris the world’s governments will have to conclude a climate treaty that will enable us to maintain global warming below 2°C. This is necessary, as highlighted by the scientific community, to avoid terrible economic, social and environmental consequences in the next decades.
Europe has everything to gain from shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. The dramatic nuclear accident in Fukushima in 2011 showed once again how dangerous and costly nuclear energy is. In the US, the so-called shale gas boom has also shown its limits: people’s health and local environment have been deteriorating and the investments prove not to be as fruitful as they were predicted to be; In China, the huge pollution due to the use of dirty energy sources is increasing health costs and water pollution and causing a lot of discontent among the Chinese people who are worried about the impact of air, water and soil pollution on their health. These fossil energy and economic models are clearly unsustainable in the long run.
The debate on the 2030 Energy and climate package is nothing less than a debate about our future – the type of economy we want to support and the environment we want to live in. The joint environment and industry committees’ vote tomorrow morning is therefore crucial. Members of the Parliament must support three ambitious binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy and increase renewable energy sources, as proposed by the Greens. These decisions will benefit everyone in the long term – from citizens to businesses – but also enable Europe to play a strong decisive role on the international stage towards Paris 2015.