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EU climate and energy policy

EU must avoid cutting off nose to spite face and ensure ambitious and coherent 2030 policy

The European Commission today presented a communication on EU climate change and energy policy to 2030. Commenting on the communication, Green MEP and EP draftsperson on EU emissions targets Bas Eickhout said: 

"2030 is the next crucial milestone for EU climate and energy policy and it is important that we ensure ambitious and coherent targets for greenhouse gas reductions, renewables and energy savings. 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 left key instruments like the emissions trading scheme teetering on the brink. The threat of a rapidly changing climate to our wellbeing, natural resources and food supplies is too serious for Europe to continue its business-as-usual path. We therefore need an ambitious, binding 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target.

"Unfortunately, the Commission proposal is undermined by a lack of ambition. Despite various scenarios showing that the EU is capable of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions more than 50% by 2030, with ambitious policies on energy efficiency and renewable energy, the Commission has only suggested a 40% target. This needs to be revised upwards, both to ensure the effectiveness of EU climate policy but also to maximise the potential job creation and energy security from the sector."

Green energy spokesperson and EP draftsperson on EU legislation on renewable energy and energy efficiency Claude Turmes added:

"We need a clear and unequivocal commitment to binding 2030 targets for energy savings and renewable energies. Given the undeniable success of the 2020 renewable energy target, the failure to commit to a 2030 target by the EU would be cutting off its nose to spite its face. 

"The 2020 binding renewable energy target has proved a major success in promoting the uptake of renewables and stimulating growth in the sector. Building on the success of the EU's 2020 renewable energy target, the Greens believe the EU should adopt an ambitious and binding 2030 target for renewable energy aiming at a 45% share. This would provide much-needed investor certainty and, combined with the right policies on the internal energy market, well-designed individual support schemes and the necessary infrastructure, will ensure we can move towards the goal of 100% renewable energy by 2050.

"Despite the clear win-win benefits of energy saving measures - in terms of job creation and reducing energy dependence and energy bills - 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 50%."