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European climate and energy policy ‘risks being undone’ say Greens




imag1296The European Parliament will today (21 October) debate this week’s EU summit, at which EU climate and energy policy to 2030 will top the agenda.

Commenting in the context of the debate, Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms said: “There is a real risk that this week’s summit could undo EU climate and energy policy if EU leaders follow the weak proposals set out by the European Commission. Adopting weak, non-binding targets would be a real set-back for the progress made towards improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of home-grown renewable energy in Europe and would set bad foundations for the EU’s energy union.

“2030 is the next crucial milestone for European climate and energy policy; without ambitious and binding targets for renewables, energy efficiency and, greenhouse gases, the EU will struggle to make up the lost ground in the years that follow. The weak greenhouse gas target proposed by the Commission is at odds with the EU’s goal of limiting global warming to two degrees, it would also be a blow to the EU’s climate diplomacy a year out from the crucial UN climate summit in Paris and would undermine the EU’s internal climate policy instruments.”

Greens/EFA Co-President Philippe Lamberts added: “The renewed recognition of Europe’s damaging dependence on energy imports from Russia and other unreliable exporters has underlined the need for a rethink. Without prioritising energy saving and home-grown renewables, it will be difficult for Europe to break this dependence. Given the undeniable success of the 2020 renewable energy target, it is imperative that the EU continues the momentum and adopts a binding 2030 target, with binding national sub-targets.

“Energy saving is the most effective step we can take to address our energy import dependence and reduce energy bills. 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 to this end.”

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