EU Revises Energy Policy, Fails To Set CO2 Targets For Member States

  • Date: 30/11/16
  • Laurence Norman, The Wall Street Journal

BRUSSELS—The European Union’s executive set out proposals on Wednesday aimed at moving the bloc toward meeting its climate change goals in an overhaul of rules affecting the power and renewable-energy markets.

The measures include a new, higher target for energy savings by 2030 that would reduce the bloc’s dependence on fossil-fuel imports, new rules on the promotion of renewable energy sources and a push to broaden consumer’s energy rights to give them greater choice in picking providers and providing energy to the grid.

The long-awaited proposals have come under attack from environmental groups for failing to set binding climate targets for each EU member state and for doing too little to end huge subsidies that still flow to fossil-fuel production.

However they are also likely to meet resistance from some member states, which must approve many of the proposals. The package will broaden Brussels’ power to push governments toward the EU-wide climate goals, oblige countries to cooperate on energy across borders and oversee national policies on specific issues such as energy poverty.

Europe is pushing the measures when the global commitment behind the Paris climate change agreement has come into question. That agreement, signed in late 2015 and ratified earlier in November, committed nearly 200 nations to draw up national plans to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

However, President-elect Donald Trump has threatened to pull the U.S. out of the pact.

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