Commission proposal for 2030 climate and energy package

This week EU heads of state and government will meet to discuss the European Commission・・s proposal on 2030 climate and energy policies including a 40% GHG target and a 27% 'EU-level only' renewable energy target. The Greens/EFA group is calling for three binding targets of 40% energy efficiency, 45% renewables and 60% greenhouse gas cuts.

1. Is this enough to avoid dangerous climate change?

No. To avoid dangerous climate change only a limited amount of greenhouse gases can be emitted globally during the 21st century. The 2030 target proposed by the Commission would mean  , the EU would need to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions extremely fast after 2030 (possibly even to zero emissions) in order to meet its share of the global effort required to keep climate change in check and limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees. 

2. For renewable energy and efficiency, is this ambitious? Will it pave the way for necessary decarbonisation of economy?

No. The Commission proposal would mean that between 2020 and 2030, the growth of renewable energy would be far slower than in the previous decades, and could even be below what would be expected to be achieved anyway, with no new policies. For energy efficiency, the Commission proposal would mean savings of about 17% compared to the 2009 energy consumption. This represents only half of the cost-effective potential that could be implemented at zero or negative costs.

3. Does it reduce our dependency on fossil imports (from Russia for example)?

No. Europe・・s dependency on imports can be reduced significantly through increased use of renewable energy and more energy savings.  However, the proposals by the Commission would not maximise this potential. More ambitious renewables and efficiency targets could decrease the EU卒s gas imports by 100 MTOE (million tonnes of oil equivalent), which is about the size of natural gas imports from Russia.

4. Why is EU level target for renewables not enough?

Targets at EU-level are nothing more than an empty shell as there is no concrete obligation on EU member states to develop renewables after 2020. The Eu level target can only be implemented on EU member states・・ territories and with their budgets. The new governance system will have no binding character vis-a-vis national governments and, hence, the Commission will have no enforcement power to guarantee results. Non-binding target will mean that the 500,000 new jobs predicted by the European Commission are far from certain.

Greens/EFA 2030 climate and energy package

5. What are the immediate benefits of more ambitious climate and energy policy?

The Commission・・s own impact assessment shows that a binding 30% renewable energy target could generate 1.25 million additional jobs by 2030, compared to business-as-usual.

Reduced fossil fuel consumption also has major health benefits, through lower emissions of pollutants and lowers costs for air pollution control. These benefits greatly increase with more ambitious energy efficiency policies and a more ambitious renewables target.

In the period up to 2030, the Greens/EFA targets for renewables and efficiency would help Europe to save more than ・・ trillion on our imports of fossil fuels!

6. Will Europe deindustrialise due to higher climate ambition?

No. Up to now, EU climate and energy policies have not been responsible for any decreased competitiveness from energy intensive sectors of the European economy or for differences in energy prices between global regions. In fact, industry has profited extensively from the emissions trading scheme, through free allowances and accrued windfall profits.

Analysis shows that the European steel sector does not actually suffer from reduced export capability, for example, but much more from the global economic downturn and overcapacity. In addition, steel demand in Europe would increase with more ambitious renewables and efficiency policies, as a result of increased investments in infrastructure (grids, mobility, wind turbines).

Currently, around 30% of Europe・・s gas imports originate from Russia and around a third of that goes through the Ukraine.  The latest instability pushed up gas price futures by 10%, highlighting the need for reducing our reliance on imports.

More information

Initiates file downloadReview of industry statements concerning the 'adverse effects' of European climate and energy policies
Initiates file downloadAssessing the EU 2030 Climate and Energy targets
Initiates file downloadAssessing the Greens/EFA 2030 Climate and Energy targets
Initiates file downloadLegal opinion legal assessment of the European Commission's proposal for renewable energy policy beyond 2020
Opens external link in new windowEcofys/ FOEE's short analysis of the Parliament's resolution on 2030 climate and energy package


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