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The new EU targets on renewables and CO2 emissions: a lack of ambition

The result of the negotiations that took place at the European Commission (EC) on the new target to reduce carbon emissions and increase renewable energy production by 2030 has been released today.

According to the EC, the 27 EU countries will have to produce at least 27% of its energy from renewable sources, while CO2 emissions must be reduced by 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2030. Regarding energy efficiency, the designing of new targets has been postponed to the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive, which should be completed later this year.

While on the one hand these numbers confirm that the EU is continuing its path of decarbonization, on the other hand we must not forget that these figures come from a hard negotiation between those who support even more ambitious goals  and others that see these goal as a threat to EU economic growth.

According to many observers, the most controversial points are:


  • The target of reducing CO2 emissions by 40 % applies to the whole EU and it is not a binding target for member states
  • The target of 27% of renewable energy production seems objectively too low, since some countries have already passed it.


In general, this package does not respond to the most recent scientific analysis on climate change. Only four days ago some rumors of the 5th IPCC report (the Panel of the United Nations in charge of studying the phenomenon) stated that in order to reduce climate change it is necessary to reduce CO2 emissions by 70% by 2050. Immediately, the industrial sector declared that such a so important reduction would be unsustainable and would threat the economic recovery. 

It can be said that the package launched today by the EC is a compromise, unfortunately downward, between science and industry. It will have to be approved by the European Council to be held in Brussels on March, 20, 21.

To know more:

Read the press release of the European Commission

Read the reactions of the European Environmental Bureau