EU Heads of State and Government have agreed the headline targets and the architecture for the EU framework on climate and energy for 2030. The agreed targets include a cut in greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% and an indicative energy efficiency target of at least 27%. The decision underlines the European Union's position as a world leader in the fight against climate change. The agreed greenhouse gas target will be the EU's contribution to the global climate change agreement due to be concluded in Paris next year. The renewables and energy efficiency targets will increase the security of the EU's energy supplies and help reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuels.
Following the agreement by the European Council, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "This 2030 package is very good news for our fight against climate change. No player in the world is as ambitious as the European Union when it comes to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Indeed, the proof that it is ambitious is that we are now going from a goal of 20% cut by 2020 compared to 1990 to 40% by 2030, so, doubling the effort. So, this is indeed a very ambitious, but also achievable target."
Connie Hedegaard, Commissioner for Climate Action, said: ''The EU climate action commissioner is very proud that the 28 EU leaders, despite economic uncertainty and other severe international crises, were able to get their act together on this pressing climate challenge.
A binding 40% CO2 reduction effort domestically in Europe is not an easy task. It can only be achieved through a major transformation in all parts of the society. That is why the EU leaders' decision to adopt the Commission's proposal is an ambitious and important step forward. Important not only to Europe and the Europeans, but also to the rest of the world. We have sent a strong signal to other big economies and all other countries: we have done our homework, now we urge you to follow Europe's example."
The main mechanism to achieve this target will be a well-functioning, reformed Emissions Trading System (ETS) with an instrument to stabilise the market as proposed by the Commission. The 40% target will be delivered collectively by the EU in the most cost-effective manner possible, with reductions in both the ETS and non-ETS sectors.
The 2030 framework aims to drive continued progress towards a low-carbon economy and a competitive and secure energy system that ensures affordable energy for all consumers. It also creates new opportunities for growth and jobs.