EU proposes a 40% reduction target for 2030
The European Union presented this week its new climate and energy goals for 2030, including a new target reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of 40% below 1990 levels and a binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%. The European Council is expected to consider this new framework at its spring meeting, on March 20-21.
The 2030 EU-wide target will not be further reflected into binding national targets by Member States, and each country will be free to choose their own voluntary national objectives. The deal was reached after grinding negotiations, as warring factions within the European commission and member states fought over whether to water down the proposals.
This measure was accompanied by a legislative proposal for a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading system starting 2021, which would make the carbon trading system more resilient to ‘major shocks’ and address the mounting surplus of emission allowances.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: “Climate action is central for the future of our planet, while a truly European energy policy is key for our competitiveness”. “We want this package to be owned by all Europeans. We believe that this package is ambitious but realistic”, he remarked.
For her part, Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, said: “A 40% emissions reduction is the most cost-effective target for the EU and it takes account of our global responsibility. And of course Europe must continue its strong focus on renewables”.
However, the targets are weaker than many green campaigners had called for. “While it is pleasing to see the EU Commission recognise that renewable energy is a key part of future energy solutions across Europe, the lack of ambition in not ensuring there are national binding targets for renewable energy is a disappointment,” said RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery.