EU ministers adopted a general approach on two legislative proposals that tackle energy aspects of the EU’s climate transition, the renewable energies directive and the energy efficiency directive. “The agreement of the member states on these two proposals marks a major step forward in the fight against global warming,” said French energy minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher, for the EU presidency: “Decarbonising our energy systems through a massive deployment of renewable energies and significant efforts in energy savings is essential to achieve our climate objectives.”
The proposals would also, in the context of the war in Ukraine, help the EU to reduce its dependence on Russia for energy, she added. Energy production and use account for 75% of the EU’s emissions and the more ambitious targets agreed today will be a significant contribution towards meeting the EU’s overall goal of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels.
The Council agreed to set a binding EU-level target of 40% of energy from renewable sources in the overall energy mix by 2030. With the current EU-level target is at least 32%, member states will need to increase their national contributions set in their integrated national energy and climate plans (NECPs), to be updated in 2023 and 2024, in order to collectively achieve the new target.
The Council also agreed on more ambitious sector-specific targets and measures. Regarding the sub-targets for transport, the Council introduced the possibility for member states to choose between:
- a binding target of 13% greenhouse gas intensity reduction in transport by 2030. More options will be available for member states to reach this objective, such as a possibility to set a differentiated goal for maritime transport as long as the overall goal is met;
- or a binding target of at least 29 % renewable energy within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector by 2030.