European Commission proposals to cut greenhouse gas emissions and introduce more renewable energy by 2030 have been criticised by MEPs.
On 9 January, MEPs had voted in favour of a 40 per cent cut in CO2 emissions, a 30 per cent target for renewable energy and a 40 per cent target for energy efficiency with all targets being binding.
European Parliament Environment Committee chairman Matthias Groote said: “Apart from the 40 per cent greenhouse gas reduction goal, these targets still fall short of what is needed, if only to be credible to our global partners.
“I regret that the Commission has allowed itself to be hypnotised by those claiming that ambitious climate and energy targets represent a cost, and didn’t propose a binding target on energy efficiency.
“We believe the opposite. In the interest of our industry and our jobs, we must have a firm political commitment to emission reduction, renewables and energy efficiency.”
While Environment Committee co-rapporteur Anne Delvaux said: “The European Commission proposal is an acceptable work base but needs to be strengthened. It is disappointing that we cannot yet confirm the numerous benefits of energy efficiency.
“Energy efficiency alone would enable us to reduce our energy bills, our dependence on countries producing oil and gas and our energy trade balance and to create thousands of jobs in Europe, not to mention improving our protection of our environment and our climate.”
But Industry and Energy Committee co-rapporteur Konrad Szymañski disagreed. He said: “The European Commission hasn’t understood anything of the current impact and influence of the climate policy on the European economy.
“Increasing the binding target for energy from renewables to 27 per cent does not take into account the electricity price impact of this policy. Raising the CO2 reduction target to 40 per cent is at best premature.”