EU Parliament votes for three binding climate targets for 2030

Members of the European Parliament voted this week in favour of three climate and energy targets for 2030: 40% cut in CO2 emissions, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency by that year.

These targets should be binding, MEPs say, and implemented through individual national targets, taking account of each member state’s situation and potential.

The vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, has no legal force, but stokes debate before summit talks between European Union leaders in March on energy and environment policy and its impact on competitiveness. The Commission hopes that summit debate in March, followed by further summit talks in June, will produce political agreement on 2030 policy, but has said it does not expect to produce a formal legislative proposal until after parliamentary elections in May and a changeover of Commissioners later this year.

Most MEPs were pleased with the vote. “The price of energy seriously affects companies, industry and, more specifically, our citizens. If we want to reduce our energy imports we have to produce more in Europe, by making better and more efficient use of our resources,” said the co-rapporteur for the environment committee, Anne Delvaux (EPP, BE). “If we have a broad energy mix with greater energy efficiency, this is the best option to reduce to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to encourage new technologies and innovation, create jobs, and change our economies into greener economies. This is why we need three binding objectives,” she added.

The ecologists are satisfied with this proposal too. “With its call for binding targets today, the parliament has drawn a line in the sand to give investors the certainty they need. Now, EU governments have to raise the bar to secure a clean energy future for Europe”, Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Frederic Thoma said.

However, Konrad  Szymański (ECR,PL), was not glad with the decision. “This result is not satisfactory. We are promising ourselves, Europeans and European industry, that this new climate policy would be realistic, flexible and cost- efficient. This are very good assumptions. However, if we double the emission reduction target after 2020, it is not realistic. It is a road to reduce the competitiveness of European industry,” he said.



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