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European Parliament committees vote yes to 2030 renewables target

Committee MEPs for binding 2030 climate goals, 40% co2 cuts, 30% renewables

MEPs have today reaffirmed their support for an ambitious climate and energy policy and their commitment to renewable energy by supporting three binding 2030 targets for renewables, greenhouse gas reductions and energy efficiency.

Members of the energy and industry, and environment committees voted 66 to 50 in favour of the three targets earlier today.

In a joint vote today on the EU’s long term goals for tackling climate change, Environment and Industry MEPs supported a 40% cut in co2 emissions, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency for the period following the present policy framework for 2020. Such targets should be binding, they say.

In the resolution, adopted jointly by MEPs from the environment and industry committees by 66 votes to 42, with 3 abstentions, MEPs call on the Commission and the Member States to set a 2030 EU target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels. The EU must also set an energy efficiency target of 40% in line with research on the cost-effective potential, and commit to producing at least 30% of total final energy consumption from renewable energy sources, MEPs say.

Such targets should be binding, MEPs say, and implemented by individual national targets, taking into account each Member State’s situation and potential.

Reactions

“We supported ambitious and binding targets, and I am very pleased with this result. I hope the plenary will confirm,” said environment committee chair Matthias Groote (S&D, DE). “This resolution will send a clear signal in several directions: to the European Commission, on the legislative proposals that we expect; to our industry, for its visibility and investments; and finally, to our global partners with whom we negotiate a world-wide climate agreement, to be concluded in 2015” he added.

“Today, Parliament expressed its first opinion on the energy and climate objectives for 2030. With this, we are better prepared to do our part in the legislative proposals the Commission will present on 22 January. Our role is to deliver certainty through our legislative choices, in order to prepare ourselves for crucial challenges ahead us in the next future” said Industry, Research and Energy committee chair Amalia Sartori (EPP, IT).

« The EU is the biggest global importer of fossil energy. Our own resources are essentially renewable. To reduce our imports and the deficit in our energy trade balance, we can act in two ways: production of renewable energy and reduction of our consumption. This is why I want energy efficiency to be a real corner stone of our strategy. Moreover, a recent European Commission communication confirms the huge potential of these sectors in terms of creating jobs which will not be outsourced. In harsh economic times, this is an opportunity we cannot miss!” said the co-rapporteur for the environment committee, Anne Delvaux (EPP, BE)

The Co-rapporteur from the Industry committee, Konrad Szymański (ECR, PL), called on MEPs to reject the report. “Rejecting the most radical proposals for stricter climate policy is somewhat a success, but the outcome of today’s voting is far from satisfactory. This is not the appropriate response to today’s European economic challenges. The Left wing does not want to draw conclusions and lessons from past mistakes concerning the EU’s climate policy. This means a loss of competitiveness, loss of investment, moving out of industry and further loss of jobs in Europe” he said.

Background

The report responds to the March Green Paper by which the Commission started a debate on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies for the period following the present policy framework up to 2020.

Next steps

The resolution will be put to a vote during the 3-6 February plenary session in Strasbourg