European Council Meeting: Focus on Ukraine – No Decision on Climate and Energy Policies for 2020 to 2030

The European Council meeting on 21 March 2014 focused on the Ukraine crisis. EU leaders also held a first policy debate on the framework for climate and energy policies for the 2020-2030 period proposed by the Commission, but did not decide on the matter. They agreed that a final decision on the future framework should be reached by October 2014 at the latest. The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) sharply criticized the lack of action.

The council meeting also “addressed issues such as energy prices, energy dependence and energy efficiency, and reconfirmed EU objectives of completing the internal energy market by 2014 and developing interconnections by 2015”, the Council informed.

The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) strongly criticized the lack of action on the framework for the future climate and energy policies. Hildegard Müller, Chairman of the BDEW Executive Board, commented as follows:  “I recognise that that current foreign policy concerning the Ukraine has priority on the agenda of the European Council. Yet, I do not understand that the issue of the joint European energy and climate policies keeps being postponed and there is again no agreement on joint goals for 2030. It is one of the most important European topics. The EU has to take on its responsibility in the run-up of the international climate protection negotiations in a better way. It is also in the German interest to reach agreement on binding goals for 2030, in particular with a view of the necessary European dimension of the German energy transformation (towards a renewable energy supply). Therefore, it is important that the German government presses for a constructive dialog in the EU and timely progress. A uniform European CO2 reduction target for 2030 of at least 40% will be a signal for investors and international climate negotiations.”

In January 2014 the European Commission put forward a proposal for an EU framework on climate and energy for the period 2020 to 2030. The centre piece is a 40% reduction target for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below the 1990 level. The proposal also includes an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27%, which shall, however, not be translated into national targets through EU legislation. A new energy efficiency target has not yet been set. For more information, please see the first link below.

Source: European Council; BDEW

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