EU leaders last night agreed a 2030 climate package deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels, while significantly watering down the EU energy efficiency target (now voluntary at 27%) and the renewables target (27% and now only binding at EU level). In February the European Parliament voted in favour of much higher binding 2030 targets for renewables (30%) and energy efficiency(40%).
Association of Liberal Democrats in Europe (ALDE) Group President Guy Verhofstadt commented:
"By agreeing this weak climate package deal, Member States have put short term national priorities ahead of the European interest."
"Instead of taking the lead in the fight against climate change, these summit conclusions put Europe on hold."
Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy MEP, ALDE coordinator on the ENVI Committee commented:
"Now that the world is becoming more and more aware of the danger of climate change, Europe is weakening its ambitions. This is not only damaging for our climate, it is also harming Europe's credibility in international climate debates."
"The agreement lacks any ambition. Getting rid of nationally binding targets for renewables gives completely the wrong signal. It will lead to more uncertainty for innovative business and will delay the necessary investments in renewable energy."
"Energy in Europe faces three huge problems: it is too expensive, it is too polluting and we are too dependent. To solve these problems we will need to become more energy efficient and we need more renewable energy. It is unacceptable that the Council does not want to make any binding commitments on these 'no regret' options".
Frederick Federley MEP, coordinator for the ALDE group on the ITRE Committee said:
"The reality is that low targets were lowered further. This is a dark day for Europe's climate policies"
"When the EU lowers ambitions, it gives a clear signal to the US to do the same, which gives the rest of the world a clear path for lowered ambitions."
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