EU 2030 Framework On Climate & Energy: Is It Enough?


EU leaders agreed on 23 October 2014 the domestic 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40% compared to 1990 together with the other main building blocks of the 2030 policy framework for climate and energy, as proposed by the European Commission in January 2014. This 2030 policy framework aims to make the European Union’s economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable and also sets a target of at least 27% for renewable energy and energy savings by 2030.

Last January, the former President of the EU Commission José Manuel Barroso stated that: “Climate change is a defining challenge of our time, while a truly European energy policy is key for our competitiveness. It’s in our own interest, as EU, to create an environmentaly friendly economy: we are beyond the debate where you had to either be “green” or a defender of industry. We believe these two issues are not contradictory, but can perfectly go together if handled smartly.”

A centre piece of the new 2030 Framework on Climate & Energy is the binding target to reduce EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below the 1990 level by 2030. But it is not only about that: it also aims at increasing both the share of renewable energy to at least 27% of the EU’s energy consumption by 2030 and at increasying energy efficiency by at least 27%.

Our security of energy supply will be reached thanks also to a collective effort devoted to improving our elecrticity grids and this is a central issue, especially nowadays under the Ukranian crisis, which is threatening the supply of Russian gas.

The main concern of the 2030 EU Framework is anyway the definition of the criteria for sharing responsibilities (and costs) among all EU Member States, since Eastern countries, poorer and still almost fully dependent on carbon, are negotiating for compensation mechanisms in their favour (Poland above all) with Western and richer countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands and France, which already extensively rely on nuclear power.

Although EU institutions are quite satisfied about this agreement, European environmental NGOs are very skeptical and still concerned that this won’t be enough: one of the biggest Italian NGOs,  Legambiente, judged the Framework as “modestly ambitious” and “inadequate”, with the following motivation: “ The goals set by the EU for 2030 are not coherent with the more ambitious goal of reducing global emissions of 95% by 2050, which is the only way to contain global temperature increase below the critical threshold of +2°C. Since the objectives set by the EU will be considered as a reference for other countries during the negotiations which will take place next year in Paris, during the UNFCC COP21, it is crucial that the EU would set the GHG reduction goal to the 95% by 2050: this is the only target scientists consider useful for handling with global warming before it will be too late”.