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2013/2135(INI) - 05/02/2014 Text adopted by Parliament, single reading

The European Parliament adopted by 341 votes to 263, with 26 abstentions a resolution on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies.

Parliament welcomed the Commission Green Paper on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. It expected the European Council to address these issues with ambitious responses. It regretted, however, that the Commission’s communication ‘A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030’ is short-sighted and unambitious on a number of levels, specifically as regards the lack of national targets for renewable energy and of any meaningful new action to incentivise energy efficiency.

Parliament insisted that the Commission should base any legal proposal under full codecision between Parliament and the Council.

Targets: Parliament called for a multi-faceted approach based on mutually reinforcing, coordinated and coherent policies and ambitious binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

The Commission and the Member States are called upon to set:

  • a binding EU 2030 target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% compared with 1990 levels
  • a binding EU 2030 energy efficiency target of 40%, in line with research on cost-effective energy saving potential;
  • a binding EU 2030 target of producing at least 30% of total final energy consumption from renewable energy sources.

All sectors of the economy will need to contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions if the EU is to deliver its fair share of global efforts.

Parliament stressed the importance of ensuring that early agreement on the 2030 framework for climate and energy policies in order for the EU to prepare itself for international negotiations on a new, legally binding international agreement and provide Member States and industry with clear targets so that they can make the necessary medium- and long-term investment in emissions reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Members were convinced that the best way of securing the EU’s current and future energy needs is a balanced and differentiated energy mix, which reduces dependence on single sources of energy without creating new forms of dependence, bearing in mind that the Commission advises reducing our fossil energy dependence.

Coherence of policy instruments: Parliament emphasised the need for a comprehensive analysis of tools and targets, and of their coherence, so as to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market. It stressed that the greenhouse gas emissions target must be ambitious enough to provide additional incentives beyond those already existing, and be in line with the reduction levels considered scientifically necessary to avoid dangerous climate change.

The 2030 framework for climate and energy policies should incorporate instruments available within EU regional policy in order to achieve the 2030 targets, and that this should include better use of the European Structural and Investment Funds for the development of decentralised renewable energy projects, clean fuel projects in urban and rural areas and energy efficiency projects.

Energy security: Parliament stressed the need to ensure the energy security and eventual self-sufficiency of the EU. One of the priorities in this regard would be to develop a model of cooperation between the Member States by ensuring the swift completion of the EU internal energy market, including, in particular, the construction of interconnectors and the elimination of cross-border barriers.

As regards hydraulic fracturing, when coming forward with legislation on hydraulic fracturing, Parliament called on the Commission to include a mandatory environmental impact assessment for both the exploration and extraction of shale gas and to ensure transparency as regards all data on the chemicals used in the hydraulic fracturing process.

Members proposed appropriate measures within the 2030 framework in order to mobilise stakeholders and the necessary funding as regards the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies in the EU. They called on the Commission to give more prominence and support to the great offshore wind potential of the North Sea as well as to active forestry.

The EU at the international level: Parliament called for energy agreements with third countries to be concluded at the EU level and for EU energy policy objectives to be firmly established. It stressed the need to ensure, as a priority, that developed countries cut their own emissions first and fast, and provide the necessary financial flows to developing countries for adaptation and mitigation.

It also stressed that the continuation of this policy through the adoption of binding renewable energy targets for 2030 would enable the EU to compete with China, the US, South Korea, Japan and India for technology leadership in tomorrow's markets, even in times of economic constraints. The resolution insisted on the need to build a coherent financial architecture for climate change. It also called on the Member States and the other parties in the upcoming international negotiations, in anticipation of a potential binding agreement, to address the issue of carbon leakage at the global level.

Lastly, Members called for better coordination between the Council, the Commission and the European External Action Service so that the EU can speak with one voice in international organisations and play a more active role, and have greater influence, in promoting sustainable policies.