The EU Parliament has called on the EU Commission and European nations to implement a 30% renewable energy consumption target out to 2030, The Climate Group has reported. This would raise the 27% renewable energy target agreed to by EU policy makers late last month. The Parliament is also calling for a binding 40% cut in carbon dioxide emissions from 1990 levels, and a 40% energy efficiency target.
European Commission research has found that increased development of renewables has already led to savings of €10 billion in avoided imported fuel costs, so rising renewable energy use is proving to be helpful in keeping Europe’s industry competitive globally.
However, The Climate Group CEO, Mark Kenber, has said that the new European targets should represent a ceiling for ambition, not a floor. He has said that many consider that a 50% cut in emissions is necessary for avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, and that the EU ministers have the opportunity to raise the target further when they meet again in March.
Kenber added that, “Even if an increase was conditional upon a strong 2015 global deal, it would send an important signal of intent to other governments as well as business and investors.” If Europe sets high standards for cutting emissions, increasing energy efficiency, and increasing renewable energy use, it will almost certainly encourage the rest of the world to follow suit – especially if it is realised that future economic advantage can be gained by taking these actions.