Energy and climate targets for 2030 – Europe takes its foot off the pedal
The European Union has decided its energy and climate goals for 2030, becoming the first major player in the international climate negotiations to make a commitment in advance of next year’s United Nations climate conference in Paris. Europe has thus maintained its leadership role in terms of being the first mover, but no longer clearly in terms of ambition. The compromises needed to get agreement within the 28-country organisation have produced a 2030 emissions reduction target that is only barely consistent with the bottom end of the 80-95 per cent range of emission cuts that industrialised countries are aiming to achieve by mid-century. EU leaders have also decided on a future loosening of the policy framework that has been driving their national renewable energy and energy efficiency programmes. If the EU has decided to rely in the next decade primarily on the single target of emissions reduction to achieve progress, it must reform its chosen instrument – the Emissions Trading System – to deliver this target.