The Commission must move towards a greenhouse gas emission reduction goal of at least 30% by 2020
Oceana, the international marine conservation organization, bemoans the lack of ambition in the EU´s Energy Efficiency Action Plan presented last week by the European Commission. The plan only considers setting mandatory energy efficiency targets in 2013, if the voluntary approach has not worked at national levels. Out of the EU’s three 2020 targets adopted in 2008, the 20% energy savings target is the only one that is not binding for Member States, and the only one that is not on track to be met, as Commissioner Oettinger admitted last week in Strasbourg.
"This Strategy clearly lacks both ambition and operationality. It will not deliver unless strict measures are set up on a sectoral basis with a compulsory reporting component”, said Xavier Pastor, Executive Director for Oceana in Europe. “The absence of a proper sense of responsibility in the European Commission and Member States, who are still driven by short-term economic interests, is a true shame”.
The European Commission, and its President José Manuel Durão Barroso, must show leadership on this issue, by proposing an immediate binding 2020 energy efficiency target. Oceana welcomes the steady push for such target from the European Parliament Environment Committee, and urges other Euro-Parliamentarians to support this call. The sooner this target is made mandatory, the easier it will be to meet and go beyond the EU’s 2020 climate objective. In this sense, it is also necessary to increase the EU´s greenhouse gases (GHG) emission target to at least 30% by 2020.
Oceana also strongly supports the audacious proposal made on the same day by Connie Hedegaard, the EU's Commissioner for Climate Action, to cut the quota of emissions permits to industry in the third phase (2013-2020) of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as a way to boost energy efficiency by increasing the carbon price on the market.
Oceana calls attention to the fact that industry vastly benefited from free allowances of CO2 quotas in the past, which precisely hindered the effectiveness of the mechanism and did not encourage investments in clean technologies.