EC proposes new energy targets for 2030

The European Commission has proposed new energy targets for 2030, which include a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below 1990 levels and an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso says: 'It is in the EU's interest to build an economy that is less dependent on imported energy through increased efficiency and greater reliance on domestically produced clean energy. An ambitious 40% greenhouse reduction target for 2030 is the most cost-effective milestone in our path towards a low-carbon economy. And the renewables target of at least 27% is an important signal: to give stability to investors and support our security of supply.'

In a statement the European Union outlines the key elements of the 2030 policy framework set out by the Commission:

1. A binding greenhouse gas reduction target
The target of a 40% emissions reduction below the 1990 level would be met through domestic measures alone. The annual reduction in the 'cap' on emissions from EU ETS sectors would be increased from 1.74% now to 2.2% after 2020.
Emissions from sectors outside the EU ETS would need to be cut by 30% below the 2005 level, an effort that would be shared between all member states.

2. An EU-wide binding renewable energy target
Renewable energy will play a key role in the transition towards a sustainable energy system. The EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% in 2030 comes with benefits relating to 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. Attainment of the EU renewables target would be ensured by the new governance system based on national energy plans.

3. Energy efficiency
Improved energy efficiency will contribute to all objectives of EU energy policy. The role of energy efficiency in the 2030 framework will be further considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later this year. The Commission will consider the potential need for amendments to the directive once the review has been completed. Member States' national energy plans will also have to cover energy efficiency.

4. Reform of EU ETS
The Commission proposes to establish a market stability reserve at the beginning of the next ETS trading period in 2021. This would both address the surplus of emission allowances that has built up in recent years and improve the system's resilience to major shocks by automatically adjusting the supply of allowances to be auctioned.
Under the recently proposed legislation, the reserve would operate according to pre-defined rules which would leave no discretion to the Commission or member states in its implementation.

5. Competitive, affordable and secure energy
The Commission proposes a set of key indicators to assess progress over time and to provide a factual base for potential policy response. These indicators relate to, for example, energy price differentials with major trading partners, supply diversification and reliance on indigenous energy sources, as well as the interconnection capacity between member states.

6. New governance system
The 2030 framework proposes a new governance framework based on national plans for competitive, secure and sustainable energy. Based on upcoming guidance by the Commission, these plans will be prepared by the member states under a common approach, which will enhance coherence, EU coordination and surveillance.


The European Council will now review the framework in March. The framework builds on the existing 'climate and energy package' of targets for 2020 as well as the Commission's 2050 roadmaps for energy and for a competitive low-carbon economy.

Energy commissioner Günther Oettinger comments: 'The 2030 framework sets a high level of ambition for action against climate change, but it also recognises that this needs to be achieved at least cost.'

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