BRUSSELS – The European Union agreed on Thursday to enforce a 32.5 percent energy reduction target by 2030, in compliance with commitments acquired during the 2017 Paris Climate Agreement, which will drive the EU executive to modify current European energy legislation.
The binding agreement, announced during the EU’s Committee of the Regions 130th plenary session debate on Climate Change, must now be ratified by the Eurochamber and calls for all EU-28 member countries to draft national energy plans for the period 2021-2030.
According to the EC, it also envisions some “flexibility” to respect “specific national cases.”
The agreement was achieved after intense negotiations among the so-called European Trilogue: European Commission (EC,) European Parliament (EP,) and Council of Europe (CoE,) which according to European Commissioner in charge of Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, represents an “important step towards the (EU’s) clean energy transition.”
“Europe is the largest importer of fossil fuels in the world. Today we put an end to this. A new 32.5 percent energy efficiency target for 2030,” Commissioner Cañete wrote on his Twitter account.
Energy efficiency is one of the eight EC legislative proposals present in its clean energy package which includes other agreements such as establishing the minimum quota of renewable energies by 2030 (32 percent), improve the energetic efficiency of buildings and reduce the emission of contaminating gases.
According to the Paris Agreement, the EU has committed itself to reduce its emissions 40 percent by 2030 (according to 1990 levels.)
The European Greens represented by Hungarian MEP Benedek Jávor considered these measures did not go far enough to fulfill EU’s Paris agreements but celebrated the 32.5 percent compromise as a step in the right direction.
According to Javor, this measure provides the opportunity of creating “thousands of green economy jobs.”
The European Socialists through its MEP Miroslav Poche, considered it “a good deal for our citizens, as it will bring about major reductions in energy consumption, thus reducing bills and improving health and wellbeing, and in helping fighting energy poverty.”