For the European Union the effectiveness of climate and energy policies depends on its ability to combine competitiveness, energy security and emissions reductions. The new reference framework, which was presented in Brussels in January and is set to be discussed by the European Council and Parliament, sets ambitious targets for between now and 2030 and stresses the need for shared action across Europe.
The strategic framework set out by the Commission for 2030 includes six key elements:
- A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels, with different targets and caps for sectors depending on whether they are included in the Union's ETS system;
- A renewable energy target of 27 percent for Europe's energy mix. It is EU-wide binding but will not include regulation for specific national targets;
- Energy efficiency as an enabling but not binding element for the achievement of EU energy policy targets;
- Reform of EU ETS for which the European Commission proposes to establish a market stability reserve at the beginning of the next ETS trading period in 2021;
- Competitive, affordable and secure energy, with a set of key indicators for assessing progress over time and to provide a factual base for potential policy response;
- A new governance system based on a common approach for individual domestic plans, which will ensure stronger investor certainty and greater transparency.
'Ensuring a low cost, secure energy supply that respects the environment is one of the key ways of bringing growth and competition back to the European economy,' said Enel's President Paolo Andrea Colombo. The development of new technology in energy 'will be the main way of achieving this aim, diversifying energy sources, lower costs and limit carbon dioxide emissions'.
Regulatory certainty is a key element for freeing up the investments necessary for the new pipelines, electricity distribution networks and low-carbon technologies. The EU, which works with energy operators, industry and individuals in order to achieve its targets, emphasises the close connection between stable and clear governance and climate objectives, consumption efficiency and energy cost reductions targets for European citizens.