The European Council has endorsed greenhouse gas reduction, renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, and set an aspirational electricity interconnection target for 2030.
A legally binding greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030 requires the EU to collectively reduce its emissions by at least 40% compared to 1990 levels. It sends a strong signal about the EU's commitment to tackling global warming ahead of international climate talks to be held in Paris next year. The Council has also endorsed achieving at least 27% renewable energy in the EU's final energy consumption and a 27% or greater improvement in energy efficiency by 2030.
Meanwhile, the European Council urged the European Commission and EU countries to take urgent measures to reach a 10% minimum electricity interconnection target by 2020. It added an ‘aspirational’ target of 15% interconnectivity by 2030, saying that the Commission must regularly report progress towards this goal. Both these targets will be met via the EU’s projects of common interest.
The Council also stressed the need to link energy islands – in particular, the Baltic States and the Iberian Peninsula – to the rest of the EU's electricity grid.
On energy security, the Council backed measures such as critical projects of common interest in the gas sector, strengthening the Energy Community, and streamlining national administrative procedures for important energy projects.