MEPs gave a mixed response on Wednesday to the proposals for the EU’s long-term goals for tackling climate change announced by the Commission the same day. In a joint vote on 9 January, environment and industry MEPs had backed a 40% cut in CO2 emissions, a 30% target for renewable energy and a 40% target for energy efficiency for the period to 2030. Such targets should be binding, they say.
Targets still fall short of what is needed
Matthias Groote (S&D, DE), chairman of the environment committee, said: "Apart from the 40% greenhouse gas reduction goal, these targets still fall short of what is needed, if only to be credible to our global partners. I regret that the Commission has allowed itself to be hypnotised by those claiming that ambitious climate and energy targets represent a cost, and didn’t propose a binding target on energy efficiency. We believe the opposite: in the interest of our industry and our jobs, we must have a firm political commitment to emission reduction, renewables and energy efficiency.”
Disappointing that energy efficiency benefits not yet confirmed
Anne Delvaux (EPP, BE), co-rapporteur for the environment committee, stated: “The European Commission proposal is an acceptable work base but needs to be strengthened. It is disappointing that we cannot yet confirm the numerous benefits of energy efficiency. Energy efficiency alone would enable us to reduce our energy bills, our dependence on countries producing oil and gas and our energy trade balance and to create thousands of jobs in Europe, not to mention improving our protection of our environment and our climate."
Need for pragmatism when building long-term perspectives
Amalia Sartori (EPP, IT), chair of the industry and energy committee, said: "The EU has always been very ambitious in its policies and we must be sure we can steer the effects of our choices. We need to be pragmatic also when building long-term perspectives: the implications that energy and climate goals could have are enormous for businesses, citizens and the whole community."
Raising the CO2 reduction target to 40% “at best premature”
Konrad Szymański (ECR, PL), co-rapporteur for the industry and energy committee, said: "The European Commission hasn't understood anything of the current impact and influence of the climate policy on the European economy. Increasing the binding target for energy from renewables to 27% does not take into account the electricity price impact of this policy. Raising the CO2 reduction target to 40% is at best premature."
The 2030 framework builds on the existing climate and energy package of targets for 2020 as well as the Commission’s 2050 roadmaps for energy and for a competitive low-carbon economy. The Commission communication on the 2030 policy framework follows the Commission’s March 2013 green paper, which launched a broad public consultation on the most appropriate range and structure of climate and energy targets for 2030.
The non-binding resolution will be put to the vote during the 3-6 February plenary session in Strasbourg.