EU Energy Commissioner Oettinger: German CO2 Emission Reduction Target Ambitious

In an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), the German EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger, a fellow member of Chancellor Merkel’s conservative CDU party, called the government’s 40% CO2 emission reduction target “ambitious”.

“As an industrialized country Germany may perhaps have to examine its leeway in this regard”, Mr Oettinger said.

The interviewer critically mentioned that Mr Oettinger did not attend the Commission meeting in which the Commission approved a proposal for a Council Regulation on state aid to facilitate the closure of loss-making hard coal mines in the EU by 1st October 2014. Mr Oettinger said he could not have changed majorities. Hence, he chose to attend a meeting of the twenty most important Energy Ministers of the world in Washington that day. Besides, it was not yet clear if Germany had to stop supporting hard coal in 2014. Germany could try to win a majority in the European Council of Ministers for a phase-out of state aid in 2018. It would be helpful if the government presented the review of state aid for coal that is planned for 2012 already in November. If the government clearly stated its intention of a phase-out of state aid in 2018, this would be seen as proof of Germany being serious about the matter.

Mr Oettinger announced to present a comprehensive EU Energy Concept on 4 February 2011. With two ten-year plans he intends to create an energy infrastructure that is compatible with the aim of affordable prices, European solidarity and climate protection, Mr Oettinger told FAZ. He mentioned energy-efficiency as another important aspect of the European energy concept. Besides, he wanted to ask the heads of the Member States whether they would agree to a joint foreign energy policy, he said. “In that case”, he added, “Mr Putin does not have to call Berlin, Paris or Rome, but can call Brussels”.

Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

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