The European Union has agreed a 32% target for renewable energy after earlier talks on energy efficiency failed to reach a deal.
While a compromise agreement was signed-off for the EU’s renewables target, an essential deal on energy efficiency will now be delayed after all-night three-way talks between MEPs, national governments and the European Commission ended early this morning.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations with 140 members in more than 30 countries.
Responding to the news Roland Joebstl, EEB Policy Officer on Energy and Climate said:
“Energy Efficiency is the cheapest and most effective route to cut climate-harming emissions and essential to delivering the Paris Agreement. Unfortunately, the agreement on renewables is overshadowed by the collapse of talks on energy efficiency and the blame lies squarely on national capitals. While the European Parliament fought for a higher and binding target for energy efficiency, governments including the UK, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia blocked progress. Celebrating the deal on renewables would be premature, and real climate leaders understand that.”
Green groups have also warned that the 32% target for renewables is not just insufficient to meet Paris commitments but could actually slow-down the roll-out of renewable energy investments.
A total ban on palm oil in transport was agreed for 2030, but questions remain about the sustainability criteria for biomass, which is the biggest source of renewable energy in the EU. Increased biomass burning was also highlighted by a recent Commission report as a likely to threaten progress on tackling the EU’s air pollution crisis.