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EU lays out post-2020 climate law timetable

06 Nov 2015 10:49 GMT
EU lays out post-2020 climate law timetable

London, 6 November (Argus) — The EU has laid out further details on its strategy to decarbonise its economy after 2030, while maintaining a secure and affordable supply of energy.

EU leaders have agreed a 2030 target for EU emissions of at least 40pc below 1990 levels, a non-mandatory target of 27pc of renewables in final energy consumption, and a target to increase energy efficiency in the EU by at least 27pc compared with business-as-usual projections for 2030.

The European Commission has already put forward a market stability reserve for the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS), which has now been passed into law. A review of the EU ETS directive, which will set a 43pc emission reduction in the ETS sector by 2030 compared with 2005 levels in phase four (2021-30), is currently passing through the legislative process.

A leaked draft of the Commission's State of the Energy Union communication shows that the next pieces of legislation will govern the non-traded sector and the 2030 renewables and energy efficiency targets.

The 40pc headline 2030 target is split between action required in the ETS and non-ETS sectors. In the first half of 2016 the commission will present a communication on the implementation of the non-ETS emissions reduction target of 30pc compared with 2005 levels in a review of the Effort Sharing Decision, adding that this review will "address the integration of the land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector".

That sector is not currently included in the Effort Sharing Decision to 2020, and its inclusion has been a subject of much debate between EU member states. Including the sector in the 40pc target is controversial as it acts as a net carbon sink and therefore dilutes the target.

The commission will also present a communication on actions to decarbonise transport, notably road transport, which will pave the way for proposals on emissions standards for cars and vans later this decade.

The new renewable energy directive for 2030 will be presented in the second half of 2016 to provide "the right framework" for achieving the 27pc renewable target, though the document does not say how the commission hopes to achieve this without mandatory targets at member state level, as was the case with the 2020 targets.

The commission next year will also make proposals on achieving the 2030 27pc energy efficiency target, with a particular focus on buildings. Emissions from that sector represent around 40pc of the EU's total final energy consumption, and a quarter of non-ETS greenhouse gas emissions.

"A thorough evaluation of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive is being carried out in view of its revision," said the document.

Financing energy efficiency investments, which needed to be increased fivefold by 2030, remains a substantial challenge.

To address this problem the commission will set up a scheme to make capital more accessible for energy efficiency programmes, offer technical and project development assistance, and develop off-the shelf instruments with standard terms and conditions, especially in the buildings sector.