Connie Hedegaard: "A good day for EU climate policies"
Connie Hedegaard made the following statement in response to the conclusions on energy adopted by EU leaders at the 22 May European Council meeting:
''It is very encouraging for climate policies in Europe that the EU leaders welcomed the Commission's Green Paper on a 2030 framework for climate and energy policies. It shows that the EU Member States are now willing to take the next major steps forward. The Commission has now also got the green light to present concrete proposals before the end of this year, so that the European Council can return to this issue in March 2014.
This also shows that while it is extremely important to address the issues of competitiveness and energy costs, Europe's leaders also realise that the climate challenge remains urgent and that the way forward for Europe is to have climate and energy policies that go hand in hand.
In today's Council conclusions, EU leaders also call for a boost in energy efficiency and a completed single energy market with more domestically-produced renewables and new and intelligent energy infrastructure. And as we need investments to achieve these goals, EU leaders pledged to phase out harmful fossil fuels subsidies and strengthen our market mechanisms, in particular the EU's carbon market. Now governments must show that they mean it and support the Commission's backloading proposal.''