Brussels, 22 January 2014
2030 climate and energy goals for a competitive, secure and low-carbon EU economy
A reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% below the 1990 level, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%, renewed ambitions for energy efficiency policies, a new governance system and a set of new indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system. These are the pillars of the new EU framework on climate and energy for 2030 presented today by the European Commission.
Supported by a detailed analysis on energy prices and costs, the 2030 framework will ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States, leading to the development of new technologies. The framework aims to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy and a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers, increases the security of the EU’s energy supplies, reduces our dependence on energy imports and creates new opportunities for growth and jobs, by taking into account potential price impacts on the longer term.
The Communication setting out the 2030 framework will be debated at the highest level, in particular in the European Council and European Parliament. It is accompanied by a legislative proposal for a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) starting in 2021, to improve its robustness. A report on energy prices and costs in Europe, published alongside the Communication, suggests that the rising energy prices can be partly mitigated by ensuring cost effective energy and climate policies, competitive energy markets and improved energy efficiency.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "Climate action is central for the future of our planet, while a truly European energy policy is key for our competitiveness. Today's package proves that tackling the two issues simultaneously is not contradictory, but mutually reinforcing. It is in the EU's interest to build a job-rich 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, boost green jobs and support our security of supply".
Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said: "The 2030 framework is the EU's drive for progress towards a competitive low-carbon economy, investment stability and security of energy supply. My aim is to make sure that energy remains affordable for households and companies. 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. The internal energy market provides the basis to achieve this goal and I will continue to work on its completion in order to use its full potential. This includes the 'Europeanisation' of renewable energy policies".
Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, said: “In spite of all those arguing that nothing ambitious would come out of the Commission today, we did it. A 40% emissions reduction is the most cost-effective target for the EU and it takes account of our global responsibility. And of course Europe must continue its strong focus on renewables. That is why it matters that the Commission is proposing today a binding EU-level target. The details of the framework will now have to be agreed, but the direction for Europe has been set. If all other regions were equally ambitious about tackling climate change, the world would be in significantly better shape.”
The key elements of the 2030 policy framework set out by the Commission are as follows:
The Communication setting out the 2030 framework is accompanied by a Report on energy prices and costs, which assesses the key drivers and compares EU prices with those of its main trading partners. Energy prices have risen in nearly every Member State since 2008 – mainly because of taxes and levies, but also due to higher network costs. The comparison with international partners highlights rising price differentials, notably with US gas prices – which could undermine Europe's competitiveness, particularly for energy intensive industries. Nevertheless, rising energy prices can be partly offset by cost effective energy and climate policies, competitive energy markets and improved energy efficiency measures, such as using more energy-efficient products. European industry's energy efficiency efforts may need to go even further, bearing in mind physical limits, as competitors do the same and European industry decides to invest abroad to be closer to expanding markets. These findings inform the 2030 framework.
The European Council is expected to consider the framework at its spring meeting on 20-21 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. The Communication on the 2030 policy framework follows the Commission’s March 2013 Green Paper, which launched a broad public consultation on the most appropriate range and structure of climate and energy targets for 2030. These documents reflect the EU's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 as part of the effort needed from developed countries.
On energy aspects of the framework:
On climate aspects of the framework:
MEMO/14/39 – Q&A on ETS market stability reserve
MEMO/14/40 – Q&A on the 2030 framework
MEMO/14/38 - Q&A on the energy prices study