European Parliament passes clean energy deals

EUROPE: The European Parliament has overwhelmingly backed an agreement with member states on key elements of the Commission's clean energy package.

Parliament voted in favour of deals reached by negotiators from the three EU institutions in June

First published on Ends Europe

A plenary session of the Parliament voted in Strasbourg in favour of deals reached by negotiators from the three EU institutions in June on a new Energy Efficiency Directive, Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), and new energy governance regulations.

Once approved by member states in the Council in the coming weeks, the regulations will set a new binding renewable energy target of at least 32% for 2030, described as "paltry" and "inadequate" by environmentalists, with a review in 2023 for an upward revision at EU level.

The Parliament’s negotiator on RED II, social democrat José Blanco López, said the "vital" agreements "take us towards greater decarbonisation of our economy".

The directive includes a subtarget of 14% for transport, caps palm oil and soybean fuels — to be phased-out from 2023 — and scraps targets for food-based biofuels after 2020.

A new energy efficiency directive sets a non-binding EU target of at least 32.5% for 2030 with an upwards revision clause by 2023.

Campaigners have said the target does not reflect the urgency of climate change.

Centre-right EPP group spokesperson in the industry committee Krišjanis Karinš said he expected that "realism in our targets and flexibility in its implementation will prevail".

Energy markets should "move away from heavy-handed state intervention towards more competition and market-based principles," he said, welcoming the "flexibility" in the agreements.

Separately, the Commission announced amended energy consumption figures for the revised energy efficiency directive to take account of the UK leaving the EU.

The energy governance rules require member states to prepare a national energy and climate plan for 2021-2030.

First published on Ends Europe