Friday, January 17, 2014

EU Targets 40% carbon emission reduction by 2030

There are lots of articles about European talks setting energy/environmental targets that will be up for ratification in June - with lots of opinions.
Some news from today indicate a position is being settled into that looks very sane
Probably just a rumour.

Cut carbon emissions by 40% in 16 years, Ed Davey tells EU | The Guardian
Ed Davey, the energy secretary, has called on EU heads of state to endorse a target to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, but reject a specific binding renewables target.
The European Commission is due to issue a paper next Wednesday that is likely propose a EU-wide renewables target in line with the wishes of Germany and France, but Davey, in a Guardian interview, claimed his call not to impose a binding renewables target was gaining traction.
He wants EU states to have flexibility to achieve greenhouse gas emissions through a mix of non-carbon technologies including nuclear, but denied his rejection of a binding renewables target revealed a loss of confidence in the British renewables industry.
 The entire article should be read, as it notes the conflict between those calling for more renewables (Greenpeace, etc.), and those wanting flexibility to achieve actual reductions in carbon emissions.

Other sources put a far different spin on expectations, such as Commission warms to 'binding' energy target | European Voice:
The European Commission has decided to call a proposed European Union renewable energy target for 2030 'binding', switching course from an earlier plan for an indicative goal, according to EU sources.
However it will still not be broken down into individual national targets, meaning national governments will have no obligation to expand renewable energy after 2020. The bloc as a whole would oblige itself to meet the headline target, likely to be set at a 27% share of total EU energy.
The two articles do seem, to me, to be reporting the same matter, just in different ways.
The Guardian avoided the subject concluding the European Voice article, a paragraph that will shock the clueless Ontario government:
The third target for 2020, to increase energy efficiency by 20%, has been dropped. The Commission will propose to drop this target for 2030. But this will be subject to a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive scheduled for July.
All in all, looks like a better day for Europe, with a focus on emissions winning over a focus on fashion.


  1. I basically agree with Davey's position on renewable targets. If the goal is to reduce GHG emissions, there are many ways to achieve the objective and adding renewable generation is only one of them, especially since the European ETS covers the electricity sector. In a nutshell, Europe should let firms reach their reduction objectives in the most cost-effective manner, without forcing a technology on them.

  2. The points I picked out here (40% emissions, 27% EU wide renewables target, and no target for efficiency) all appear to be, or not to be, in the final document: