Fighting Climate Change with Green Energy and Efficiency

Published on Thursday, 6 November 2014

According to Trends and projections in Europe 2014, the European Environment Agency's annual report that was published a few days ago, the European Union reduced by greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 percent between 2012 and 2013. Should this trend continue, the continent will likely exceed the 2020 Directive and Kyoto Protocol emissions targets.

According to the EEA, the action taken in the last few years should enable the EU to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 21 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, a full percentage point more than the target set. Furthermore, with 14 percent of final energy consumption generated by renewable sources in 2012, the EU is also ahead of schedule on its aim to have renewable energy make up 20 percent of total generation by 2020. Meanwhile on the EU is also experiencing a rapid decline in consumption that will help in obtaining expected energy savings of 20 percent. 

The EEA report highlights the positive effects of measures taken, although the picture in individual Member States is more mixed that at the overall EU level, with non-aligned countries for each target. This means that, as EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx observed, 'there is no room for complacency'.

 Current projections for 2030 indicate that renewed efforts are required both nationally and Europe-wide in order to keep the EU on track for the new 2030 targets. It needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels and increase renewable energy production to at least 27 percent of total consumption while cutting energy use by at least 27 percent in order to both help decarbonise the energy system and aid an 80-95 percent cut in European greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

'We agree with the Commission's proposal for establishing binding targets for renewable energy and the reduction of CO2 emissions,' said Simone Mori, Head of Enel's Department of European Affairs. 'Regarding for energy efficiency we need to take a bottom up approach in which European measures support an indicated objective while also promoting sectors with potential for growth, such as transportation and residential.'

In this environment, and in line with European Commission strategy, Enel believes it necessary to further integrate the European energy market, enabling Europe to derive more from the diversification of sources through a stable regulatory framework for the development of renewable energies.