EU ministers step up push for 2030 renewable energy goal

Date: 8 January 2014

Ministers from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal have written a letter to key European Union leaders calling for a 2030 goal for renewable energy use to be set for the bloc.

A clash of opinions remains however, as the UK continues to press for a sole greenhouse gas emissions target.

The British maintain that a single target could be cheaper, giving governments more flexibility in how they choose to cut those emissions, including building nuclear power plants or ramping up energy efficiency measures.

However in the letter the group of energy and environment ministers assert that, “A target for renewable energy is crucial to provide certainty that can ensure cost-effective investments in energy systems that will strengthen the internal market for energy.”

The group believes the action would cut dependency on fossil fuel imports and boost jobs and economic growth.

Reuters reports that the letter was sent to Connie Hedegaard, the EU commissioner for climate action, and Guenther Oettinger, commissioner for energy.

A 2030 renewables goal, which would be part of a package of EU measures on energy and climate change.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive, is expected to unveil a 2030 package on January 22nd to start off a legislative process that could take at least two years.

The Commission is considering a 40 per cent emissions reduction target and a 30 percent renewables goal, EU sources have told Reuters.

The two goals would succeed the three 2020 targets of a 20 perc ent emissions cut from 1990 levels, a 20 per cent share for renewable energy and energy savings of 20 per cent of 1990 levels.
Source: The Guardian