Following the Climate Summit (see our previous post here) European leaders have struck a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030. But key aspects of the deal that will form a bargaining position for global climate talks in Paris next year were left vague or voluntary, raising questions as to how the aims would be realised. As well as the greenhouse gas, two 27% targets were agreed – for renewable energy market share and increase in energy efficiency improvement. The former would be binding only on the EU as a whole. The latter would be optional, although it could be raised to 30% by a review in 2020.
“This package is very good news for our fight against climate change,” the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso said. “No player in the world is as ambitious as the EU.”
French President François Hollande said the deal would send a clear message to big polluters such as China and the United States ahead of UN talks in Paris next year to agree global legally binding greenhouse gas emissions.
A special “flexibility clause” was added to the final text, making it possible for the European Council to return to the targets after the UN summit in December 2015. The efficiency and renewables targets were watered down after opposition from countries such as the United Kingdom, which means it will not be binding at national level. The European Commission had called for an efficiency goal of 30%. That was reduced to 27% across the EU. All three targets are compared to 1990 levels.
Leaders of the EU at the EU Summit, 23 Oct 2014
Further reading on important decisions on Interconnectivity, Energy Security and the Monitoring Process:
Further reading (The Guardian)