Green paper and consultation initiate debate on 2030 energy and carbon targets

Brussels, 27 March – The European Commission today launched its Green Paper on a Climate and Energy Framework for the year 2030, marking the first step in the process of establishing a follow-up to the 20/20/20 targets. It is seeking input from stakeholders on setting energy and carbon targets, as well as on infrastructure and policy instruments.

Brussels, 27 March – The European Commission today launched its Green Paper on a Climate and Energy Framework for the year 2030, marking the first step in the process of establishing a follow-up to the 20/20/20 targets. It is seeking input from stakeholders on setting energy and carbon targets, as well as on infrastructure and policy instruments.

Speaking at a press conference to launch the Consultation, Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard outlined the importance of setting 2030 targets to reduce regulatory risk and improve investor certainty in renewable energy sources (RES). “2020 was yesterday for investors”, said Oettinger, noting the long-term certainty needed to stimulate RES growth.

When questioned about supposed impacts on international competitiveness, Hedegaard replied that the 20/20/20 targets had in fact made the EU more competitive, with green technologies one of the few sectors of the economy to weather the economic crisis. She further pointed out that 90 countries around the world now have energy and carbon targets, with all members of the G20 except Saudi Arabia moving in this direction.

The Green Paper notes that 2030 targets should fit into context of the Energy Roadmap 2050, which seeks an 80-95% reduction in carbon emissions. Whilst the 20% renewable energy and 20% carbon reduction targets for 2020 are on track, the non-binding target of a 20% increase in energy efficiency is looking likely to fail. Disappointingly, the Green Paper 2030 does not intend for energy efficiency targets to be in place, with Oettinger identifying other pieces of legislation to support this goal.

Alongside the Green paper, the Commission also announced a communication calling for investments in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology and published a report outlining progress on the 2020 targets. This found significant progress since the launch of the RES Directive in 2009, with only Malta and Latvia significantly lagging behind their interim targets.

The Green Paper, CCS Communication and RES report are all available here.

Click here to access the consultation page. The deadline for input is 2 July 2013.

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