Speak Up Energy

Suggestions from Parliament

A binding CO2 target for 2020 and changes in Emissions Trading Scheme

The Parliament recommends that the EU should now agree a binding CO2 target for 2020 and an indicative one for 2050. It proposes a target of EU 30% reduction of CO2 for 2020 and a 60-80% reduction for 2050. It proposes the continuation and amendment of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in order to meet this challenge, including a move towards auctioning or “benchmarking based on output” and its extension to all types of freight transport. This is in line with indications already given by President Barosso and Commissioner Piebalgs in recent speeches. As part of the January 10th EU Energy Policy package, Commissioner Dimas is expected to bring forward a Communication on a future climate change commitment of the EU.

Energy Efficiency to be a priority across the board

The report asks the Council and Commission to make the EU the most energy efficient economy in the world by 2020 and to set energy efficiency measures as cross-cutting priority for all EU policy areas. It supports an EU target for energy efficiency improvements of at least 20 per cent by 2020.

New targets for renewables

New binding targets are proposed, to bring renewable energy to 25 per cent of the EU’s primary energy mix by 2020 – and “a route map to reach 50 per cent by 2040”. Specific binding targets are recommended for each Member State on a sectoral basis; for renewable electricity, heating & cooling and biofuels. The Parliament requests the Commission to table a Directive on Heating and cooling as soon as possible.

Nuclear power

In its report the Parliament “recognises the role that nuclear energy plays in some Member States as part of the energy mix and as a way of avoiding CO2 emissions”. However, it shies away from going further than this, stating simply that “decisions on the future of nuclear power must be taken by the Member States individually”.

Consumers at the centre of energy policies

MEPs “stress that consumers must be placed at the centre of all future energy policies and that energy poverty should feature more clearly in the Commission’s proposals. Consumers should have easy access to price and choice information, to an easy method of switching energy provider and a right to be heard by the regulators in each Member State.”

EU should “speak with one voice” with third countries

The Report argues for the development of a “common stance” in its energy relations with third countries “to increase the EU’s ability to negotiate with energy producing and consuming countries.” However, little new concrete action is proposed. The Parliament “insists on the ratification of the Transit Protocol and the Energy Charter Treaty”, but do not explain how to convince Russia to do so.

From CLAEYS&cCASTEELS

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