Setback As EU Leaders Postpone 2030 Climate & Energy Targets

  • Date: 11/03/14
  • Ewa Krukowska, Bloomberg

Setback for global efforts to cut emissions as EU leaders postpone decision on 2030 climate and energy targets

European Union leaders will set an end-of-year deadline for a decision on climate and energy strategy for 2030, according to a draft political statement to be adopted at a summit later this month.

EU heads of state and government in the European Council are scheduled to have a first debate on the framework for the next decade when they meet in Brussels on March 20-21. The challenge for the 28-nation bloc is to reconcile Europe’s ambition to lead the global fight against climate change with pledges to revive the region’s industry and cut the reliance on imports of fossil fuels, a remit that is gaining more attention amid the escalating crisis in Ukraine.

The leaders will ask governments and the European Commission, the bloc’s regulatory arm, to further analyze the impact of new policies on member states, review energy-efficiency measures and develop a plan to prevent relocation of production to regions without emission curbs, the draft shows.

“The European Council will take stock of progress made on these issues at its June meeting, with a view to taking a decision before the end of the year,” according to the draft summit conclusions obtained by Bloomberg News.

The planned framework, under which the commission proposed in January that the EU deepen its emission reductions to 40 percent by 2030, has divided governments and industry. While 13 member states including the U.K. and Germany called earlier this month for a swift decision to adopt an ambitious strategy, a group of nations led by Poland urged further analysis of the proposed policies on the bloc’s economy. The EU’s current target is to reduce pollution by 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels.

Potential Setback

A postponement of a decision on 2030 rules may be a setback for global efforts to cut emissions and for United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who is convening world leaders on Sept. 23 to set out ways to curb fossil fuel emissions. The EU has for decades been at the forefront of that process, and hesitation on its part may remove a spur for the U.S. and China to act.

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