The European Commission has announced details of its newly proposed 2030 EU energy and climate framework, which seeks a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below the 1990 level and would set a renewables target of ‘at least’ 27% by 2030. However, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) argues that the latter goal is too weak.
EWEA says the commission is ignoring the European Parliament, which voted in favor of a binding 30% renewables target for 2030 in committee earlier this month. The association argues that the commission's own figures show that setting a 30% goalÂ would create over 560,000 more jobs in Europe and boost economic growth while saving billions on imported fossil fuel and health costs. An even higher target would have an even greater impact, the group continues.
In a press release, the European Commission says, ‘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 percent 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."
Thomas Becker, CEO of EWEA, has made clear his disapproval of the commission's plans.
‘The previously far-sighted and ambitious European Commission is a shadow of its former self, hiding behind the U.K. and other backward-looking Member States and lobbies," he says. "By effectively advocating repatriation of energy policy to Member States, [Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso] appears to have forgotten his previous calls for "more European integration' on energy policy."
‘The Heads of State now need to show leadership and agree an ambitious 2030 climate and energy framework that benefits Europe and allows its world-leading wind energy sector to make Europe more prosperous and secure," Barroso adds.
According to the commission, the framework will be debated at the highest level, in particular in the European Council and European Parliament. The former is expected to consider the plan at its spring meeting in March.