The European Council and Developments in the European Energy and Climate Policy: European Council in Action

Briefing 26-10-2015

Since 2007, the European Council has set the long-term strategic targets on the way towards a low-carbon economy.This briefing gives an overview of the actions taken by European leaders in building a European energy and climate policy. It deals mainly with the key strategic priorities and guidelines given during the past five years since the Lisbon Treaty came into force.The goal of limiting global warming to 2˚C above pre-industrial levels requires a profound transformation of the energy system. The EU 2020 climate and energy targets, adopted as part of the Strategy for Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth, and the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policy determine the course of further action at EU and national levels. The European Council has also set completion of the internal energy market as a priority and has played a central role in developing a European Energy Security Strategy.A resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy is one of the top priorities of both the Commission Work Programme and the Strategic Agenda of the European Council annexed to the Conclusions of June 2014. The EU leaders backed the Commission framework strategy on the Energy Union at the beginning of 2015.Furthermore, the European Council has repeatedly highlighted the importance of coordinated EU action at global level. The forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 is pivotal in terms of tackling the adverse effects of climate change in a way that takes into account the evolving geopolitical and economic situation in the world.