Making Europe's 2030 Climate Targets Sustainable

Published on Thursday, 25 September 2014

According to Luciano Violante, president of Italiadecide, the redefinition of Europe's carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets for 2030 – a discussion on the new climate directive that will be held in October – will be economically sustainable 'only if they are applied in a flexible way. The objectives should be determined based on the actual development of technologies, systems, services, regulatory tools and innovative capacity, which promote the goals in each country'. Violante was speaking during the seminar Towards a European Energy Union: the role of the EU and national research, which recently took place at the Chamber of Deputies in Rome.

The aim of the event was to analyse European emissions issues and push for the establishment of a committee of experts and centres of excellence that put innovation at the heart of the EU's new energy and climate strategy. The proposed name for the network, which is being promoted by Giovanni De Santi, Director of the Institute for Energy and Transport at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, is European Science for Energy Policy (ESEP)

The creation of a 'robust European energy union' is one of new European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's priorities. Hence the need, according to De Santi, to create a pool of scientific and technical experts that takes into account different local and regional issues, aiding 'an ex ante assessment of energy policy decisions for the EU.'

Sogin president Giuseppe Zollino said that the committee would contribute to making the ambitious 2030 targets achievable, as they will 'inevitably result in the obligation to eliminate almost all emissions related to electricity generation. Flexible implementation is a necessity for the 2030 Energy-Climate objectives'.

'Europe is the most advanced technology deployment experiment in the global energy sector,' said Enel's Simone Mori, putting the focus on regulations and innovation. 'That's why we believe that by defining certain medium- to long-term regulations, we can leverage, without any form of coercion, a number of national measures and focus on the proven skills that European industry possesses. The networking of knowledge and skills between public research systems, universities and businesses is of great importance.'

Italy's Deputy Minister for Economic Development Claudio De Vincenti agreed on the importance of the issues dealt with during the Italiadecide conference, and De Vincenti is convinced that Europe's environmental policies must be compatible with its energy policies. This is one of the objectives of the Italian Presidency of the EU, which will be the focus of the European Energy Conferenceto be held in Rome at the end of November.