EU leaders have reached a landmark deal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared with 1990 levels. According to Herman Van Rompuy the achievement becomes the “World’s most ambitious, cost-effective, fair, Climate Energy policy agreed”

Yesterday was held in Brussels the EU summit on Climate Change and Energy. EU leaders came for the European Council talks on energy negotiations for the 2030 climate and energy policy framework. The main objective of the Summit was to reach an agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, renewable and energy efficiency in the period from 2020 to 2030.

The bloc also agreed to boost the use of renewable energy to 27% in the total energy mix and increase energy efficiency to at least 27%.

The European Council is expected to make a contribution to the climate agreement that shall be adopted by 2015 at the 21 Session of the Conference of the Parties. The summit’s agenda included also other in the field of external affairs and in particular in regard to Ukraine/Russia and the Ebola outbreak in West-Africa.  Today, leaders will discuss the economic situation in the EU focusing on the euro area.

The new EU framework should be based on the following principles:

  • Further improve coherence between greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency and the use of renewables to deliver the objectives for 2030 in a cost-effective manner, with a reformed and well- functioning Emissions Trading System (ETS)
  • Develop a supportive EU framework for advancing renewable energies and ensure international competitiveness.
  • Ensure security of energy supply for households and businesses at affordable and competitive prices.
  • Provide flexibility for the Member States as to how they deliver their commitments in order to reflect national circumstances and respect their freedom to determine their energy mix.

Leaders are furthermore expected to reconfirm the priority of completing the internal energy market by 2014 and developing interconnections so as to achieving the existing electricity interconnections target of 10%.

The European Council should also endorse further actions to reduce the EU’s energy dependence and increase its energy security for both electricity and gas, such as implementation of critical projects of common interest in the gas sector (north-south corridor), improve arrangements for better use of regasification and storage capacity and increasing EU’s bargaining power in energy negotiations by establishing an information exchange mechanism with regard to intergovernmental agreements. Leaders are equally expected to recognise that having recourse to indigenous resources as well as safe and sustainable low carbon technologies can increase the EU’s energy security.

The main elements of the Commission proposal, presented on 22 January 2014, include:

  • A greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 40 % below 1990 levels, to be achieved only through domestic measures (without the use of international credits);
  • A renewable energy target of at least 27 % of energy consumption, with flexibility for member states to set national objectives;
  • Energy efficiency as a key component of the 2030 framework. On 23 July the Commission presented its energy efficiency communication with a new energy saving target of 30 % by 2030 (vs 2007 reference).

At EQO as a provider of advisory, management and training services in the areas of Climate Change, Energy,  Environmental Management and Economic Development we follow closely the current international events related to Climate Change negotiations and energy policies.