A good day for European climate legislation

Publish date: October 24, 2014

Bellona is pleased to see the EU has set itself clear climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Bellona Europa has followed the hectic run-up to the Council’s conclusions on the 2030 Climate and Energy Package on which the 28 EU Member State leaders finally reached an agreement this morning.

Bellona finds it encouraging that the EU has set itself clear climate goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. By setting this as a minimum target the EU sends a clear message ahead of the UN climate negotiations that the 28 EU Member States are willing to increase this percentage. This is good news for international climate policy, says Jonas Helseth, Director of Bellona Europa in Brussels. Helseth emphases that these are important signals prior to the Paris negotiations next year, as the EU makes clear that the level of ambition will not be lowered.

The EU is making an important step towards achieving the Union’s agreed emission reductions of 80-95% in Europe by 2050, says Helseth.

EU reaffirms commitment to CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS)

When it comes to CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) Bellona is pleased that the EU’s Climate and Energy Package is clear about the need for this climate mitigation technology. The EU’s plan comes with obligations in the form of a fund that will enable the necessary progress of the technology.

Bellona Europa has worked hard behind the scenes with some thirty high-level meetings in recent weeks to help ensure the inclusion of CCS into the plan.

The fact that CCS is now recognised as crucial opens the potential for additional fossil fuel-dependent countries to realise their climate ambitions. The fact that the so-called NER400 scheme is in place is of great importance, also for Norway. In 2008 Bellona was instrumental in establishing the preceding fund, known as NER300.

Helseth makes it clear that it would be particularly difficult to achieve the necessary CCS deployment if the technology had not been explicitly mentioned in the EU’s new plan.

The CCS technology requires legislative predictability. We are talking about major investments and work that requires long-term planning. Now give EU key players the confidence they need to embark on the job, says Helseth.

The EU targets on energy efficiency are, however, a fly in the ointment.

Bellona is disappointed at the energy efficiency target of 27%. The EU should strive to be even more ambitious in this field. The ambition of 30% was an essential objective to put on the use of energy in the European construction and transport. In addition, a high energy efficiency target entails social benefits. For every 1% increase in the target gas imports will be reduced by 2.6%, says Helseth.

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