Spotlight Issue: European Parliament Increases 2030 Energy Goals
On January 17, 2018 the European Parliament (EP) voted in plenary session on three pieces of legislation that have fundamental implications for the achievement of the EU’s pledge under the Paris Agreement. The proposals concern the energy efficiency directive, the renewable energy directive and the governance of the energy union. The approved legislations set the following binding EU-level targets for 2030:
- a minimum 35% improvement in energy efficiency
- a minimum 35% share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption
- 12% share of energy from renewable sources in transport while phasing out palm oil as biofuel from 2021
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) overwhelmingly passed the three provisions with 72% of them approving the proposals.
This is a significant push for more aggressive goals than previously proposed. In November 2016 the European Commission proposed an improvement in energy efficiency of 30% and 27% for renewable energy. The objectives approved last month are higher, by 5% and 8% respectively. Moreover the EP reinstated legally binding targets, excluded in the previous proposals, which are a key aspect that strengthens the effectiveness of the law. Next steps see members of the European Parliament negotiating binding targets with EU ministers.
With regard to renewable energy, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) published in January 2018 a report called “Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union” where the top finding is the potential for the EU to double, cost-effectively, the share of renewables from 17% in 2015 to 34% in 2030. This aligns perfectly with the provision just passed by the European Parliament.
Status: Moving Forward
The legislation approved by the European Parliament deserves four stars because it strengthened energy efficiency and renewable energy targets compared to the original proposals of the European Commission. The new targets are a key contribution to the achievement of the EU pledge under the Paris Agreement. Thanks to these new aggressive climate policies the EU once more confirmed itself at the forefront of the climate change fight.
Personal letters, emails and phone calls have the most influence and impact on decision makers and policy makers so we encourage you to contact each individual directly.
Contact the Prime Minister and the Environment Minister for your country to encourage them to swiftly adopt the new legislation and even set more ambitious national targets.
Dear Prime Minister/Minister for the Environment,
On January 17th the European Parliament passed legislation to achieve ambitious energy targets for 2030. The targets will be legally binding at the EU level and impose a) a minimum of 35% improvement in energy efficiency and b) a minimum share of 35% renewables in the share of final energy consumption.
I invite you to negotiate even more aggressive national targets for both energy efficiency and renewable energy.
You can find social media contacts for all EU Prime Ministers here: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/european-council/members/
Find the names of members of the Environment Council here: