A cleaner, greener future for EU energy policy?

Pressmeddelande   •   Nov 24, 2006 09:30 CET

The Industry and Energy Committee says there should be binding targets for reducing carbon dioxide emissions and on increasing the use of renewable energy sources. These views are set out in a wide ranging report on the Commission's energy strategy proposals, adopted unopposed on Thursday.

In its report, drawn up by Eluned Morgan (PES, UK), the committee welcomes the Commission's green paper on a European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy, but stresses that changing conditions in the broader global energy market need to be taken into account. MEPs in the committee want a systematic approach considering production, distribution and consumption in order to develop a policy which secures affordable energy.

A binding CO2 target for 2020 and changes in Emissions Trading Scheme

To tackle climate change, MEPs say EU leaders should agree within the next year on a binding CO2 target for 2020 and an indicative one for 2050. They say the existing Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) needs to be changed, to include a move towards auctioning or benchmarking based on output - and also to bring in further emitting sectors including all types of freight transport.

Energy Efficiency to be a priority across the board

The report asks the Council and Commission to make the EU the most energy efficient economy in the world by 2020 and to set energy efficiency measures as cross-cutting priority for all EU policy areas. It supports an EU target for energy efficiency improvements of at least 20 per cent by 2020. MEPs call for an EU strategy on transport energy use, aiming at the phasing out of fossil fuel, a reduction in oil dependency and the gradual introduction of clean energy.

Targets for renewables supported - nuclear power is up to Member States

In order to help diversify energy sources, the committee says the EU needs a stable long-term policy framework, with binding sectoral targets for renewables to reach 25 per cent in primary energy by 2020 - and a route map to reach 50 per cent by 2040. The committee recognises the role that nuclear energy plays in some Member States as part of the energy mix and as a way of avoiding CO2 emissions, but says decisions on the future of nuclear power must be taken by the Member States individually.

Consumers at the centre of energy policies

MEPs in the committee stress that consumers must be placed at the centre of all future energy policies and that energy poverty should feature more clearly in the Commission's proposals. Consumers should have easy access to price and choice information, to an easy method of switching energy provider and a right to be heard by the regulators in each Member State.

EU should speak with one voice with third countries

The committee says a common stance vis-à-vis third countries is needed to increase the EU's ability to negotiate with energy producing and consuming countries. The Commissioner responsible for energy should, say MEPs, work to a well defined mandate with a long-term energy planning vision. MEPs urge the Commission and the Member States to take very seriously the real danger of a deficit in gas supplies from Russia after 2010. They insist on the ratification of the Transit Protocol and the Energy Charter Treaty, which are instrumental in ensuring much needed foreign investment in Russia’s energy infrastructure and to assure sufficient gas supply to the EU.

Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
Chair : Giles Chichester (EPP-ED, UK)
Procedure: Own Initiative Report
Plenary vote: December, Strasbourg

Ref.: 20061120IPR00065
Constanze Beckerhoff
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