Today the Commission has laid down renewed ambitions about climate and energy. Its new policy framework includes a new target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below the 1990 level, and an EU binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% to be reached by 2030. A new energy efficiency target will be considered in a review of the Energy Efficiency Directive due to be concluded later this year.
The Commission also proposes a set of key indicators to ensure a competitive and secure energy system. A new governance system will contribute to the definition of Member States national objectives regarding in particular greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy savings and energy security. Apart from setting new climate and energy objectives, the package tabled today also includes a proposal to reform the EU emissions trading system and a recommendation on shale gas. It is also accompanied by a report on energy prices and costs.
On 17 January 2014, I had meetings with the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak in the framework of the EU-Russia Permanent Partnership Council (PPC) on Energy in Moscow. We discussed key topics in the EU-Russia energy relations such as the impact of legislation reforms on both sides and the importance of making progress in strengthening the legal basis of our energy relations. I also encouraged market-oriented reform in the Russian energy sector and favourable conditions for investments by EU energy companies. The Permanent Partnership Council was established within the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue following the 2003 EU-Russia Summit and it aims at bolstering the energy relations by providing political steering to the dialogue on key energy issues of mutual interest.
At the energy working party of 7 January, the Greek Presidency of the Council presented its priorities: definition of a 2030 energy and climate framework, competitiveness and security of supply. They intend to adopt two sets of Council's conclusions: (1) on energy prices, protection of vulnerable consumers and competitiveness and (2) on the value of multilateral frameworks in the international relations in the field of energy (mainly Energy Community, but also UfM, IRENA, Energy Charter and its modernisation). The informal Council of 15-16 May will be dedicated to energy security (Southern Corridor and Eastern Mediterranean) and to the funding instruments for Projects of Common Interest and energy efficiency. The 20-21 March European Council is expected to give guidance on the 2030 framework, following Commission's proposals. The Greek Presidency considers having an orientation debate at the 4 March Energy Council and the 3 March Environment Council. The June Energy Council should follow-up on the result of discussions at the March European Council.