A far-reaching package of proposals to fight climate change seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20%
The European Commission has agreed on a far-reaching package of proposals to fight climate change and promote renewable energy.
The Commission said the measures would dramatically increase the use of renewable energy in each country and set legally enforceable targets for governments to achieve them.
All major CO2 emitters will be given an incentive to develop clean production technologies through a reform of the Emissions Trading System (ETS) that will impose an EU-wide cap on emissions.
“In a time of growing oil prices and climate change concerns, renewable energy sources is an opportunity that we cannot miss.
Commissioner for energy policy, Andris Piebalgs
Building on the ETS, the Commission is to include more greenhouse gases and involve all major industrial emitters in the carbon-cutting scheme.
The package seeks to reduce European greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% and increases to 20% the share of renewable energies in the energy consumption by 2020, as agreed by EU leaders in March 2007.
The emissions reduction will be increased to 30% by 2020 when a new global climate change agreement is reached.
“Building on Europe's pioneering emissions trading system, this package demonstrates to our global partners that strong action to fight climate change is compatible with continued economic growth and prosperity.
Commissioner for the environment, Stavros Dimas
Commission President, José Manuel Barroso said: ‘Responding to the challenge of climate change is the ultimate political test for our generation. Our mission, indeed our duty, is to provide the right policy framework for transformation to an environment friendly European economy and to continue to lead the international action to protect our planet. Our package not only responds to this challenge, but holds the right answer to the challenge of energy security and is an opportunity that should create thousands of new businesses and millions of jobs in Europe. We must grasp that opportunity’.
Commissioner for the environment, Stavros Dimas said: ‘Building on Europe's pioneering emissions trading system, this package demonstrates to our global partners that strong action to fight climate change is compatible with continued economic growth and prosperity. It gives Europe a head start in the race to create a low-carbon global economy that will unleash a wave of innovation and create new jobs in clean technologies. These proposals implement the commitments made by EU leaders last year through a fair share-out of the effort. Now all Member States must make their full contribution.’
Commissioner for energy policy, Andris Piebalgs said: ‘In a time of growing oil prices and climate change concerns, renewable energy sources is an opportunity that we cannot miss. They will help us to reduce our CO2 emissions, strengthen our security of supply and develop jobs and growth in a high tech developing sector. If we do the effort now, Europe will be the leader in the race towards the low carbon economy that the planet so desperately needs’
Commissioner for Competition, Neelie Kroes said: ‘The state aid guidelines are a significant contribution to Energy and Climate Change policy in the Union and to the continuing process of the state aid reform. This is a win-win opportunity for the Member States to finance environmental projects and for economic growth in the EU.’