10 Apr 2019, 13:34
Kerstine Appunn

Slow progress in transport and efficiency endangers EU climate targets

Clean Energy Wire

The European Commission has published its fourth report on the state of the Energy Union, the EU’s framework to overhaul its energy and climate policy to ensure a secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy supply in Europe. Since 1990 greenhouse gas emissions have decreased in all sectors except transport, the report finds, adding that economic growth has been more decoupled from energy consumption, and that greenhouse gas intensity has improved thanks to efficiency measures by member states. There is however still a risk that the bloc will fail its energy efficiency target for 2020, the report warns.
What started as a political strategy in 2015 has kick-started a deep transformation and modernisation of the economy, Commission Vice-President Maros Šefčovič said in Brussels on Tuesday. “I am talking about decentralised and decarbonised energy production and consumption, about infrastructure deployment, and about smart technologies,” Sefcovic said. The Energy Union had helped the bloc to step up its 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, he said. Challenges remained when looking at the implementation of the Energy Union on the national level. All member states had submitted their National Energy and Climate Plans and the Commission would publish its recommendations on these by 30 June 2019, the commissioner said. Other challenges include reducing emissions in the transport sector, bringing battery cell production to Europe and ensuring a socially fair “just transition” in regions still dependent on fossil fuel-based businesses.

Germany is facing similar challenges with emissions not falling quickly enough to reach its 2020 reduction target and endangering the goal of cutting emissions by 55 percent in 2030. This applies to the transport sector and energy efficiency in particular and may lead to Germany having to pay for extra emission allocations under the EU's effort sharing.

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