European Commission unveils White Paper on 2030 climate change

The European Commission has recently presented a new proposed framework agreement with the intention of driving the EU towards a low carbon economy.  One key aspect of the proposal is to reduce EU domestic greenhouse emissions by 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.  To help achieve this aim the Commission has proposed an objective of increasing the amount of energy produced from renewable sources to a minimum of 27% of the energy consumed by the EU by 2030.

Responding to the European Commission’s proposal, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change indicated that the 40% target for reducing greenhouse emissions by 2030 was to be welcomed but that Europe may have to adopt even tougher targets in order to encourage countries to sign up to an ambitious global climate deal in 2015.

Whilst the proposals, if adopted, are intended to be binding on the EU, national targets would not be imposed on Member States through EU legislation.  The intention is to provide Member States with the flexibility to transform the energy system for their particular country in a way that is most suitable, bearing in mind the circumstances and infrastructure of that country.

The European Commission will now be inviting the Council and the European Parliament to endorse its approach.  It is expected that the European Council will consider the framework in March this year.

For further information on renewable energy, please contact our Renewable Energy team.

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