EU Energy Ministers opt for feeble RE target

19.12.2017
The position of the EU Energy Ministers opens the door for massive coal subsidies. (photo: iStock)
The position of the EU Energy Ministers opens the door for massive coal subsidies. (photo: iStock)

Late Monday evening, EU Energy Ministers have adopted their positions on four legislative proposals under the Clean Energy Package, which will guide the EU’s energy transition in the coming decade and beyond. Turning their backs on the Paris Agreement, the ministers opted for a feeble renewable energy target, lax rules for ensuring that all EU countries contribute to the energy transition and massive coal subsidies in the EU’s power market.

The ministers opted for the pre-Paris target of a 27 % share of renewables in energy consumption, which would hold back renewable energy growth in the EU. They failed to acknowledge that it should be raised to at least 45 % to be consistent with the Paris Agreement. In order to reach the 27 % target, EU member states want to increase the use of green energy for heating and cooling by one percentage point every year from 2020 onwards.

Commenting on the results of the meeting, Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe said: “EU governments propose to stifle and postpone the bloc’s renewable energy revolution. Their response to the need to shift away from fossil fuels to a fully renewable energy system is hopelessly inadequate and could result in a tragic failure to limit climate change. The EU’s credibility on climate action will be in tatters unless the laws are significantly improved during the negotiations with the European Parliament.”

The EU governments’ position on the governance of the Energy Union lacks teeth to drive investments in renewables and energy efficiency. The position on the market design opens the door to allowing massive coal subsidies in the new EU power market rules.

Buddensiek / CAN Europe

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