Climate Action

Commission moves forward on climate and energy towards 2030

Dynamic cityscape © iStockphoto

The European Commission today took the first step towards developing a 2030 framework for EU climate change and energy policies. Its Green Paper launches a public consultation on the content of the 2030 framework. The Commission also published a Consultative Communication on the future of carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Europe, aimed at initiating a debate on the options available to ensure its timely development. The Commission also adopted a report assessing the EU and Member States' progress towards their 2020 renewable energy targets and on the sustainability of biofuels and bioliquids consumed in the EU.

Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Europe's dependence on foreign fossil fuels is growing every year. That means more expensive and unaffordable energy bills for Europeans. This is not very wise. It's obviously not wise for the climate, but it's also not wise for our economy and our competiveness. That is why we have decided that in Europe we want a low-carbon society for 2050. We have targets for 2020, but for most investors 2020 is around the corner. It's time to define the targets for 2030. The sooner we do that, the more certainty we get to our companies and our investors. And the more ambitious these targets are, the better for the climate."

The Green Paper asks:

  • What type, nature and level of climate and energy targets should be set for 2030?
  • How can coherence between different policy instruments be attained?
  • How can the energy system best contribute to EU competitiveness?
  • How can Member States' different capacities to act be taken into account?

The consultation runs until 2 July. On the basis of the views expressed by Member States, EU institutions and stakeholders, the Commission intends to table the EU's 2030 framework for climate and energy policies by the end of this year.

The Consultative Communication on carbon capture and storage identifies the barriers that have prevented CCS from developing at the pace previously expected and discusses options to further promote the timely demonstration and early deployment, responses to which will feed into the Commission's work on the 2030 policy framework.

The renewable energy (RES) progress report shows that the current policy framework of legally binding renewable energy targets has resulted in strong growth of the renewable energy sector but to meet the targets in 2020, more efforts will be needed.