EU leaders have agreed the headline targets and the architecture for the EU framework on climate and energy for 2030. The agreed targets include a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% and an indicative energy efficiency target of at least 27%. The agreed greenhouse gas target will be the EU's contribution to the global climate change agreement, which is due to be concluded in Paris next year. The renewables and energy efficiency targets will increase the security of the EU's energy supplies and help reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels.
"This 2030 package is very good news for our fight against climate change,” said European Commission President José Manuel Barroso. “No player in the world is as ambitious as the European Union when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the proof that it is ambitious is that we are now going from a goal of 20% cut by 2020 compared to 1990 to 40% by 2030, so, doubling the effort. So, this is indeed a very ambitious, but also achievable target."
Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, commented: ''The EU climate action commissioner is very proud that the 28 EU leaders, despite economic uncertainty and other severe international crises, were able to get their act together on this pressing climate challenge. A binding 40% CO2 reduction effort domestically in Europe is not an easy task. It can only be achieved through a major transformation in all parts of the society. That is why the EU leaders' decision to adopt the Commission's proposal is an ambitious and important step forward. Important not only to Europe and the Europeans, but also to the rest of the world. We have sent a strong signal to other big economies and all other countries: we have done our homework, now we urge you to follow Europe's example."
The main mechanism to achieve this target will be a well-functioning, reformed Emissions Trading System (ETS) with an instrument to stabilise the market as proposed by the Commission. The 40% target will be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with reductions in both the ETS and non-ETS sectors. The framework aims to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy and a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers. It will also create new opportunities for growth and jobs.
The key elements of the 2030 policy framework are:
- A binding greenhouse gas reduction target: A key focus of the EU’s energy and climate policy for 2030, the target of a 40% emissions reduction below the 1990 level would be met through domestic measures alone. The annual reduction in the ‘cap’ on emissions from EU ETS sectors would be increased from the current 1.74% to 2.2% after 2020. Emissions from sectors outside the EU ETS would need to be cut by 30% below the 2005 level, and this effort would be shared equitably between the Member States.
- An EU-wide binding renewable energy target: Renewable energy will play a key role in the transition towards a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system. Driven by a more market-oriented approach with enabling conditions for emerging technologies, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% in 2030 comes with significant benefits in terms of energy trade balances, reliance on indigenous energy sources, jobs and growth. An EU-level target for renewable energy is necessary to drive continued investment in the sector. However, it would not be translated into national targets through EU legislation, thus leaving flexibility for Member States to transform the energy system in a way that is adapted to national preferences and circumstances.
- Energy efficiency: Improved energy efficiency will contribute to all objectives of EU energy policy and no transition towards a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system is possible without it. The role of energy efficiency in the 2030 framework will be further considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later this year. The Commission will consider the potential need for amendments to the directive once the review has been completed. Member States’ national energy plans will also have to cover energy efficiency.
- Reform of EU ETS: The Commission proposes to establish a market stability reserve at the beginning of the next ETS trading period in 2021. The reserve would both address the surplus of emission allowances that has built up in recent years and improve the system's resilience to major shocks by automatically adjusting the supply of allowances to be auctioned. The creation of such a reserve – in addition to the recently agreed delay in the auctioning of 900 million allowances until 2019-2020 ('back-loading') – is supported by a broad spectrum of stakeholders.
- Competitive, affordable and secure energy: The Commission proposes a set of key indicators to assess progress over time and to provide a factual base for potential policy response. These indicators relate to, for example, energy price differentials with major trading partners, supply diversification and reliance on indigenous energy sources, as well as the interconnection capacity between Member States. Through these indicators, policies will ensure a competitive and secure energy system in a 2030 perspective that will continue to build on market integration, supply diversification, enhanced competition, development of indigenous energy sources, as well as support to research, development and innovation.
- A new governance system: The 2030 framework proposes a new governance framework based on national plans for competitive, secure and sustainable energy. Based on upcoming guidance by the Commission, these plans will be prepared by the Member States under a common approach, which will ensure stronger investor certainty and greater transparency, and will enhance coherence, EU coordination and surveillance.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/europe-cis/30102014/eu-decides-on-ambitious-2030-climate-energy-targets-762/