RUSSELS – The European Commission on Wednesday (22 January) proposed new greenhouse gas targets which it said would see the EU remain the global leader on climate change action, without damaging the bloc’s fragile economy.
Under the proposals, the EU would curb its CO2 emissions by 40 percent – compared to 1990 levels – by 2030 and obtain “at least” 27 percent of its energy from renewable sources by the same year.
Both figures were disputed until the last minute.
The greatest tussle was over renewable energy sources. As part of the overall deal, the commission abandoned the current system of national targets – which it said led to fragmentation of the internal market – in favour of an overall binding EU goal.
Member states will be free to decide how they contribute to the 2030 renewable energy target, with a new “governance system” to be established to make sure countries do their bit.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the proposals are both “ambitious and affordable” and go “beyond the debate” of either being green or supporting the industry.
More information: euobserver.com