The European Parliament today adopted two reports setting out its assessment of how the EU’s laws on energy efficiency and renewable energy are being implemented. The Greens welcomed the votes, which called for more ambition, ahead of reviews of the legislation expected to be presented by the European Commission before the end of this year. Commenting after the votes, Green energy spokesperson Benedek Javor said:
"The European Parliament has today set down a marker ahead of the forthcoming reviews of the EU legislation on energy efficiency and renewable energy. If the EU is to take its responsibility in delivering on the Paris UN climate deal, it will have to increase the ambition of its energy and climate goals. This would clearly also bring clear economic benefits and create sustainable jobs in Europe. The EP has today sent out a clear call to increase the ambition of the EU’s energy targets and to ensure proper binding rules for meeting these targets.
“Crucially, MEPs have highlighted that the frontline in delivering on the EU’s energy and climate goals must be energy efficiency and saving. They have called for the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target to finally be made binding and to be increased to 40% (up from the 27% suggested by Council). This is essential for delivering European energy security, reducing our energy imports as well as tackling the problem of energy poverty.
“Parliament has also called for a strengthening of the 2030 EU renewable energy target to 30% (up from the 27% suggested by Council) and for this to be delivered through binding national binding targets. This is the model that proved successful in the expansion of renewables to date. The current overall 'headline target' for 2030 is little more than an aspirational goal, with no binding provisions on individual EU member states. This is a major step back for the promotion of renewables, which undermines the economic and employment creation potential of the sector, and which must be addressed. MEPs also called for the creation of clear rights for those who generate and consumer their own renewable energy, whilst strengthening the role of local and regional authorities in the energy transition, which is crucial to its success.
“Commission must now take these votes on board and ensure its proposals for reviewing the current legislation reflect the call for greater ambition.”
(1) The Greens last year outlined their proposals on what Europe's energy union should look like. The paper and a short overview can be found at: http://www.greens-efa.eu/a-green-energy-union-13369.html