Pressure rises for EU to raise green target to 35%
Thursday, Jun 07, 2018
The European Union is considering whether to adopt a more ambitious renewables target than the current 27% after pressure from green groups.

The EU agreed in 2015 that 27% of its energy should come from renewable sources by 2030, but since that time, the cost of renewable technologies has fallen and the scientific basis for a stricter target has become firmer.

Meanwhile the Paris Climate Change Agreement is calling for average temperature rises to be kept well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Green groups such as Climate Action Network Europe said that the EU needed a 2030 renewables target of 45% in order to meet is Paris Agreement commitments.

The European Parliament voted in January in favour of raising the share of renewable energy to 35% of the EU’s energy mix by 2030, putting it at odds with EU member states, which confirmed the 27% target in December.

The new target agreed by the European Commission, Parliament and Council – due to be concluded in a final round of talks on June 13 – is likely to be somewhere between 30% and 33%, according to Euractiv.

Eighteen companies from the Nordic region, including Ikea and clean energy giants Orsted and Vestas Wind Systems, wrote to the EU calling for an ambitious Clean Energy Package including a target of 35% renewable energy by 2030.

“We believe that the adoption of a strong Clean Energy Package with a high level of ambition of the energy efficiency directive, renewable energy directive and governance regulation, is crucial for greenhouse gas emission reductions,” they wrote.

“Ambitious climate and clean energy targets also drive economic development with increased competitiveness, job creation and improved health as well as lower dependency on energy imports.”

Industry group WindEurope said that “more renewables deployment means more jobs, investments, exports and positive impacts for our communities.

Raising the level of ambition from a 27% renewable energy target to 35% would help create an additional 132,000 jobs and inject €92bn into the EU economy from wind energy alone”.

The Clean Energy Package’s aim is to cut the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

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