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29 November 2017

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Directives: the Parliament adopts ambitious objectives, without taking into account the means to achieve them

On November 28th, Members of the European Parliament from the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) adopted the draft reports on renewables and energy efficiency directives, supporting a binding European renewables target of at least 35% and a binding European energy efficiency target of 40%, with national binding targets, for 2030. While the ITRE Committee aims to send a strong political signal ahead the trilogues, UFE regrets that the question of the means to achieve those targets was, once again, left aside.

With a tight result (33 in favour, 30 against and 2 abstentions), the MEPs from the ITRE Committee adopted a strong energy efficiency target, and largely supported the proposal of the rapporteur José Blanco Lopez on renewable energy (43 in favour, 14 against and 7 abstentions). However, those objectives cannot be the only guarantees of the European Union’s success and must be correlated to greenhouse gas emission reductions.

UFE recalls that when it comes to energy and climate policy, it is essential to ensure a coherent and pragmatic framework. Climate efficiency and flexibility for Member States must be the priority if we want to reach collectively the Europeans objectives of decarbonisation at the lowest cost for consumers. Ambition and flexibility must go hand-in-hand!

Ahead of the two forthcoming votes in plenary session this January 2018, two priorities should now be met:
• On the one hand, a mechanism that assesses and addresses the impact of energy policies on the European Emission Trading System (EU ETS) must be integrated in the Regulation on the Governance of the Energy Union, which will be adopted in the ITRE Committee this December 7th. Such mechanism is necessary to ensure a strong carbon price signal and bring the CO2 emission reduction objective at the core of the EU’s energy policy.
• On the other hand, the European Union needs a full-fledged European industrial strategy in order both to meet its climate ambition and support European companies’ competitiveness in terms of clean technologies.

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