Published: Wed, 11 December 2019
MEP for Ireland South and the EPP Group’s lead negotiator on the EU Renewable Energy Directive, Sean Kelly, has told fellow lawmakers that they must be ready to revise the level of ambition on renewable energy in line with the likely increase of the EU’s overall carbon reduction targets.
MEP Kelly, who was part of the Parliament negotiating team that secured the 32% renewable energy target in 2018, a target that was five percentage points higher than that originally agreed on by the 28 EU member states, made the following comments today (Wednesday):
“Today President von der Leyen has outlined a pathway towards increasing the EU’s overall climate ambition to a 55% emissions reduction by 2030. Meeting such a target will be challenging but necessary, and we now need to be open to revising our 2030 energy targets to ensure the needed frameworks are aligned.
“Last year we agreed a 32% renewable energy target, something that was widely hailed as an enormous victory for the European Parliament. However, we must acknowledge that this target was in line with an overall 40% EU emission reduction framework. We now need individual sectors to do more, however difficult it may be to get the Member States to agree. However, we’ve done it before, we can do it again.
“This is a rapidly developing sector, even in the 18 months since we reached that final deal. The cost of renewables are falling, investment is up, and even in Ireland we see EirGrid seizing the initiative by targeting what would be a world leading 70% renewable electricity on the grid by 2030. This can be done, the evidence is there.
“I now call on my colleagues in Parliament and indeed the Member States in Council to be open to revisiting this issue and to work to put in place a more ambitious target for renewable energy in line with a 55% emission reduction target. Renewable electricity and heat has proven to be the frontrunner in the push to decarbonise the economy, and a more ambitious signal is now needed to ensure the needed investments are made.
“Failure to increase efforts in energy and transport in the context of a 55% target, could see a disproportionate burden being place on agriculture or manufacturing – something that would not be in line with a Just Transition”, concluded MEP Kelly.