The European Commission today presented a report outlining the progress made so far towards the proposed European Energy Union and the next steps. Assessing the communication, Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:
"The Commission has clearly recognised some of the core priorities that need to be achieved in the context of the Energy Union, if it is to be a real basis for a meaningful energy transition. With the G20 moving in this direction and ahead of the crucial UN climate summit in Paris, it is important the EU finally commits to ending fossil fuel subsidies and the clearer than expected stance from the Commission on this is encouraging. The Commission has also renewed the commitment to a binding 30% target for energy efficiency in the EU by 2030 and this is clearly welcome. However, overall the picture is incomplete.
"President Juncker promised to make Europe the 'world number one' on renewable energy but the Commission has failed to outline how to increase the EU's ambition to this end. This threatens our clean technology leadership in sectors where we still have it (such as wind and solutions for the urban environment) and would compound our loss of leadership in other sectors (such as photovoltaics). It is not clear how the weak and non-binding 2030 target agreed by EU governments will move us towards this goal. Just weeks out from the COP21 UN climate summit in Paris, this is a missed opportunity to show that Europe is also moving forward.
"The Commission has also missed an opportunity to criticise the wrong-headed Nord Stream gas pipeline project. This project and its expansion is not a solution for Europe's energy security and would undermine the situation in eastern EU member states and Europe's eastern neighbourhood. The Commission should come out and clearly say so."