The EU’s new energy and climate goals for 2030 – under-ambitious and over-bearing?
The Commission has recently presented a Communication setting out its proposals for climate and energy goals for the period after 2020, when current legislation expires. It aims to set a single overall target for emissions – a 40% reduction over 1990 levels by 2030 – as the centrepiece of its package. It also proposes an EU-wide renewables target (at least 27% of energy consumption in 2030) though without the present arrangements under which an overall target in this area is translated into binding national targets. Instead, it proposes a new governance system for the whole package based on Commission review of national energy plans. This Comment, by David Buchan and Malcolm Keay, looks at the proposals and concludes that while the new goal seems relatively unambitious, the new governance arrangements run the risk of being ineffective or intrusive (or both).