Written By: Jim Greenberg
Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) voted this week for EU countries to meet binding national targets on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and greenhouse gas emissions for 2030.
Although the vote at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, is not legally binding, it shows that the majority of MEPs are in favor of EU states reducing their fossil-fuel consumption and associated emissions.
One of the issues under consideration was a law requiring EU states to produce 30% of their energy using renewable-energy sources. With summit talks between European Union leaders scheduled for March, the results of the vote could have an overall impact on EU environmental policy for 2030.
MEPs also voted for a law that would see EU states increasing their energy-efficiency measures by 30% by 2030, and another that would require EU states to reduce their carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.
In a noteworthy move, 341 (to 263) MEPs called for all three binding targets for 2030.
“A broad energy mix with greater energy efficiency … is the best option to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, encourage new technologies and innovation, create jobs, and change our economies into greener economies”, says Anne Delvaux, co-rapporteur for the Environment Committee, “This is why we need three binding objectives.”
Currently, the EU is on track to meet its 2020 targets of producing 20% of its energy from renewable-energy sources. It is, however, falling well short of meeting requirements to increase energy efficiency 20% by the end of the decade.