Calls for raising renewable energy targets by 2030
8 September, 2017
The European Parliament energy committee confirmed that MEPs want renewable energy targets to be more ambitious than the proposal put forward by the Commission. Last Monday’s meeting of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) saw MEPs debate 1,300 amendments to the Commission’s initial proposal for a new directive on promoting renewable energy sources, Euractiv.com reported. Ever since the Commission first released its proposal, it has been criticised for setting the bar too low.
“We need an agreement that goes further than 27%,” the target for 2030, insisted rapporteur Josе Blanco Lopez (S&D), arguing that “this is a social issue.” Europe needs a new directive that “won’t be immediately obsolete.”
Conservative politicians in the Parliament think differently. Sean Kelly, an MEP from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), disagreed and argued in favour of better governance rather than binding national targets. For 2020, individual EU Member States were handed legally binding targets at national level in order to meet the EU-wide threshold of 20% renewables. But this is no longer the case with the 27% for 2030, which is EU-wide and hasn’t been broken down into national objectives.
Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR), who is vice-chair of the ITRE committee and also a shadow rapporteur on the renewables directive, acknowledged there was common ground for more ambitious targets.
The committee will meet again in Strasbourg this week and is scheduled to vote on the directive report on 28 November.