2030 framework for climate and energy policies
The 2030 policy framework for climate and energy proposed by the European Commission aims to make the European Union's economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable.
While the EU is making good progress towards meeting its climate and energy targets for 2020, an integrated policy framework for the period up to 2030 is needed to ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States.
The framework presented by the European Commission on 22 January 2014 seeks to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy. It aims to build a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers, increases the security of the EU's energy supplies, reduces our dependence on energy imports and creates new opportunities for growth and jobs.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40%
A centre piece of the framework is the target to reduce EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below the 1990 level by 2030.
This target will ensure that the EU is on the cost-effective track towards meeting its objective of cutting emissions by at least 80% by 2050. By setting its level of climate ambition for 2030, the EU will also be able to engage actively in the negotiations on a new international climate agreement that should take effect in 2020.
To achieve the overall 40% target, the sectors covered by the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) would have to reduce their emissions by 43% compared to 2005.
Emissions from sectors outside the EU ETS would need to be cut by 30% below the 2005 level. This effort would be shared equitably between the Member States.
Increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 27%
Renewable energy will play a key role in the transition towards a competitive, secure and sustainable energy system. The Commission proposes an objective of increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 27% of the EU's energy consumption by 2030.
An EU-level target is necessary to drive continued investment in the sector, thus helping to create growth and jobs. Increasing the share of renewables can also improve the EU's energy trade balance and security of supply.
While binding on the EU, the target would not be translated into national targets through EU legislation. This would give Member States flexibility to transform the energy system in a way that is adapted to their national preferences and circumstances.
Continued improvements in energy efficiency
Improved energy efficiency makes an essential contribution to all EU climate and energy policies. Progress towards the 2020 target of improving energy efficiency by 20% is being delivered by policy measures at the EU and national levels.
The role of energy efficiency in the 2030 framework will be further considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later in 2014.
Reform of the EU emissions trading system
To make the EU ETS more robust and effective in promoting low-carbon investment at least cost to society, the Commission proposes to establish a market stability reserve at the beginning of the next ETS trading period in 2021.
The reserve would both address the surplus of emission allowances that has built up in recent years and improve the system's resilience to major shocks by automatically adjusting the supply of allowances to be auctioned.
Competitive, affordable and secure energy
The Commission proposes a set of key indicators to assess progress over time and provide a factual basis for policy action as needed.
These indicators relate to, for example, the energy price differential with major trading partners, supply diversification and reliance on indigenous energy sources, as well as the interconnection capacity between Member States.
New governance system
The 2030 framework proposes a new governance framework based on national plans for competitive, secure and sustainable energy. The plans will be prepared by Member States under a common approach to ensure coherence at the EU level.
Report on energy prices and costs
The Commission Communication setting out the framework is accompanied by a report on energy prices and costs which assesses the key drivers and compares EU prices with those of its main trading partners. These findings inform the 2030 framework.
Background and next steps
The 2030 framework builds on the experience of, and lessons learnt from, the 2020 climate and energy framework.
It also takes into account the longer term perspective set out by the Commission in 2011 in the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050, the Energy Roadmap 2050 and the Transport White Paper. These documents reflect the EU's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 as part of the effort needed from developed countries as a group.
To prepare for the 2030 framework, a Green Paper adopted by the Commission in March 2013 launched a public consultation on what the framework should contain. The public consultation ran until 2 July 2013.
As next steps, the Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to endorse its approach and the EU-level greenhouse gas and renewables targets. The European Council is also expected to consider the framework at its spring meeting on 20-21 March 2014.