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Inaki Irazabalbeitia

Former MEP, Aralar

What did UE leaders agree on Energy policy?

Oct 27, 2014

If one reads the reports on the EU Climate and Energy summit last week in the general mass media, one will have the impression that the output was rather positive? Was it so positive?

Last weel European leaders agreed three main climate and energy targets for 2030:

1- an “at least” 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions within the EU (without the use of offset credits), based on 1990 levels.

Brook Reley, campaigner of Friends of Earth Europe, describes very clearly the level of ambitiousness of this target: “To describe 40 per cent emissions cuts as adequate or ambitious, as EU leaders are doing, is dangerously irresponsible. 40 per cent is off the radar of climate science. This deal does nothing to end Europe’s dependency on fossil fuels or to speed up our transition to a clean energy future. It’s a deal that puts dirty industry interests ahead of citizens and the planet.”

IPPC vice-chair Jim Skea has a quite similar opinion: “I don’t think many people have grasped just how huge this task is. It is absolutely extraordinary and unprecedented. My guess is that 40 per cent for 2030 is too little too late if we are really serious about our long-term targets.”

2- a binding share of at least 27 per cent renewable

The new target isn’t very ambitious since the same amount of renewable energy could be achieved without any new energy targets at all applying the current directive on renewables. Furthermore, this target will not be translated into national binding targets, contrary to the stated in the current Renewables Directive.

3- an indicative target of at least 27 per cent energy savings (not national binding again). This target could be increased to 30 per cent after a review in 2020.

If we consider that the present target of 20 % has been mostly achieved as a consequence of the economic crisis and not as the outcome of a sound efficiency policy, the new target looks as no-target at all.