23 October, Brussels – The European Council has agreed on non-binding targets to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency by 27% by 2030, falling short of the recommendations made by green groups and the European Commission for binding 30% improvements in both measures. The Council has also agreed to reduce carbon emissions by 40%, based on 1990 levels.
The 27% target for renewable energy is counted as a binding obligation at the EU level, but unlike the 2020 targets, there will be no binding targets for individual countries, leaving it unclear how, in reality, the targets will be met. Leaders also agreed to boost trade in energy amongst Member States, as part of the nascent Energy Union initiative.
The final decision of the Council also contains a clause to allow revision of the energy targets following the United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris in December 2015.
Click here to see the Conclusions from the European Council.