The European parliament's Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee has approved a more ambitious target for renewables to meet 25% of the EU's energy needs by 2020. The committee voted to adopt the target, put forward in a report by Greens member of parliament Claude Turmes, by a comfortable majority of 26 votes for, five votes against and 15 abstentions. The European parliament last year adopted a 20% mandatory target for renewables by 2020, but the Turmes report states that with a systematic approach to energy policy and more energy conservation a higher target can be achieved. The report also calls for mandatory targets for countries and sectors such as electricity, transport and heating and cooling to meet the overall EU aim. The ITRE vote is significant. It is one of the first on renewable energy by the committee, which has a different make-up since the Conservatives won an overall majority in the Parliament in last year's elections. "It's going to be a tougher parliament to get environmental issues through," comments Corin Millais from the European Wind Energy Association. "The vote by the committee was positive, but the real test will be the plenary vote in September."
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