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Commission considers revised climate targets

By Dave Keating  -  21.02.2013 / 05:53 CET
Commission believed to be leaning toward setting new 2030 targets for emissions and renewables, but not for energy efficiency.
European commissioners at their weekly meeting yesterday (20 February) held a first debate on whether to set new targets for 2030 for preventing climate change.

The EU's existing targets are a 20% reduction in emissions, a 20% increase in renewable energy, and 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020. Investors have complained that the existing 20-20-20 targets do not extend for a long-enough timescale to provide certainty for investment. A paper drafted for the orientation debate in the college of commissioners, seen by European Voice, suggests that the Commission is leaning toward setting new 2030 targets for emissions and renewables, but not for energy efficiency. This target is currently the only one of the three that is not binding. Instead, specific measures have been made binding in the energy-efficiency directive adopted last year. But the measures in the directive will get the EU to only a 17% increase in efficiency by 2020.

The Coalition for Energy Savings wrote to the Commission last week to express alarm that a new energy-efficiency target is not explicitly mentioned in the paper. “It is evident from the implementation of the 2020 package that the diverse barriers to energy efficiency are not tackled effectively by greenhouse gas or renewable energy policies alone,” it wrote.

The briefing paper cites non-binding milestones set out in the EU's low-carbon roadmap adopted last year of a 40% emissions reduction and a 30% renewable energy share for 2030.

The Commission is to publish a green paper on the subject by the end of March, which will be followed by a stakeholder consultation and impact assessment. A communication setting out a plan may come out by the end of 2013, but it is expected that a proposal for 2030 targets will not be put forward until after a new college of commissioners has been appointed in 2014.
© 2014 European Voice. All rights reserved.
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