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2030 climate-energy package: The CoR urges the EU to opt for a "winning trio" of binding and ambitious targets
​Annabelle Jaeger

In the run-up to the European Council decision, the Committee of the Regions (CoR) is warning that the 2030 energy and climate targets proposed by the European Commission are not ambitious enough. In order for the EU's energy transition to succeed and to tackle climate change effectively, the CoR is calling for the adoption of a "winning trio" of targets, which are both ambitious and binding. Led by Annabelle Jaeger (FR/PES), member of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regional Council, the CoR members feel these objectives should steer Europe towards being carbon-neutral by the middle of the century.

Meeting today at the CoR plenary session, the mayors and presidents of Europe's regions adopted by a large majority Annabelle Jaeger'sreport A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030. The issue is all the more sensitive given that the latest scientific data tells us that climate change is worsening, and with the World Climate Conference - COP21 - set to take place in Paris in late 2015.

The CoR calls on the EU to go further in its objectives and aim to achieve:

  • a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels (as opposed to a 40% objective proposed by the European Commission);
  • a 40% share of renewable energies , based on national targets (as opposed to the proposed objective of at least 27%);
  • a 40% reduction in primary energy consumption compared with 2005 achieved through efficiency gains, also based on national targets (as opposed to the proposed 30% objective).

According to the rapporteur Annabelle Jaeger, "These three goals are needed to give us a chance of avoiding a catastrophic temperature rise of more than 2°C and to achieve the EU's long-term objective of an 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. This is the strong political signal that the local and regional authorities are expecting from Europe. On the strength of these stated objectives, the EU should be ready to negotiate a global climate agreement with a view to the World Climate Conference in 2015. "

In the long term, the CoR would also like the EU to demonstrate greater ambition by pursuing the goal of producing close to zero net emissions by the middle of the century.

The report underlines the fundamental role of cities and regions in drafting and implementing policies on climate change, developing renewables and energy efficiency: "More than 70% of reduction measures and up to 90% of climate change adaptation measures are undertaken by local authorities", explains the rapporteur. " Because of their proximity to people, local and regional authorities can help raise awareness on the economic and social benefits of the energy transition measures, hence the importance of involving them in the process ", she adds.

The CoR's members also recommend that the 2030 climate-energy package be underpinned to a greater extent by EU initiatives at local level, such as the Covenant of Mayors - through which more than 5600 European regions and cities have committed themselves, on a voluntary basis, to reducing their CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020 - and recommends that this initiative be extended until 2030.

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Nathalie Vandelle
+32 2 282 24 99

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