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Wanted: an adequate EU renewable energy target for 2030

The European Commission may not realise and/or not be ready to admit this, but the Paris Agreement means that the EU commits to net zero GHG emissions by 2050 (and net zero CO2 emissions by 2040).

Knowing that 1990 is the baseline for EU’s energy and climate targets, knowing that the EU targets only 20% renewables for 2020, and knowing that 2020 is halfway (!!) to 2050, we really have to step up the plate and urgently accelerate.

However, at the moment the EU Commission is not even willing to model an adequate range of renewables policy scenarios — let alone propose an adequate target. EU leaders agreed in 2014 to a EU-wide (and therefore non-binding on EU Member States) renewables target of only ‘at least 27%’ by 2030. And even though these same leaders in Paris agreed to a global climate deal for which the current EU 2030 climate and energy framework is no longer sufficient, the EU Commission is still maintaining the fiction that the EU’s 40% by 2030 greenhouse gas target is enough. Some are willing to get more ambitious, but some are blocking any attempts at higher targets, or even the modelling of adequate targets.

Some of the European renewable energy industry, being cautious and modest, want the EU Commission to model at least 30%, 35% and 40%. But what do wider EU stakeholders think? Or renewables industry — when they can speak freely? Therefore I did a Twitter poll. The poll got 101 votes. The votes are anonymous, but looking at the retweets and likes, it is likely that at least some of the votes come from renewables associations, energy experts, NGOs, climate policy advisers, entrepreneurs and progressive business.

The result is crystal clear:

  • Only 7% thinks a 30% by 2030 renewables target is enough.
  • Overwhelming majority says that our new climate commitment means that the EU should have a 60% by 2030 renewables target.

Let’s hope the EU Commission gets the message, starts taking the Paris Agreement seriously, and starts acting on climate with much more urgency and ambition, for the climate clock is ticking.

climateCOP21energyenvironmentEU Energy UnionParis Agreementrenewables

@StollmeyerEU • 17th May 2016

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