Member States abandon pretence of climate ambition | WWF

Member States abandon pretence of climate ambition

Posted on 18 December 2017
The EU is facing an energy crossroads. Which way will it go?
© Lode Saidane
EU governments showed their complete disdain for the Paris Agreement and Europe’s renewable energy future today, as ministers reached agreements on 2030 climate and energy laws.

Lowlights include: a 27% renewables target –less than business as usual, and rules on bioenergy that leading scientists say pose a serious threat to forests and climate.

Imke Lübbeke, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office said:
“This is shameful. A week ago at the Macron Summit, EU governments were declaring the importance of action on climate change. Yet today, they washed their hands of any responsibility for taking that action forward! They’ve just voted for a slow-down in renewable energy, and for lots more trees and food to be burnt for energy.

“Now the ball’s in the European Parliament’s court. Let’s hope they show the leadership that EU ministers didn’t show today.”

On the Renewable Energy Directive, Alex Mason, Senior Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office said:
“On renewables, the EU is basically telling investors to take their money and get lost. And on bioenergy, countries like Finland have got exactly what they wanted - no restrictions on the things they can burn, no proper carbon accounting and no reporting.”

On the new Governance Directive, which brings together rules on energy and climate change planning and reporting, Member States have agreed they can postpone adding new renewable energy capacity to the second half of the 2020s.

Mason said:
“Governance should be about translating the Paris Agreement into EU law, but the Member States have ensured it got lost in translation. Thankfully the Parliament is getting behind a much stronger version, including long-term targets consistent with the Paris Agreement.”

More information: EU energy ministers were also discussing the Market Design Regulation; at the time of writing no agreement had been reached.

The European Parliament is due to vote in plenary on 16-17 January on the Renewable Energy Directive - including bioenergy, the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Governance Regulation.
The EU is facing an energy crossroads. Which way will it go?
© Lode Saidane Enlarge