22 January 2013: The Environmental Pillar expressed its dismay today at the European Commission’s disarray over climate policy. Spokesperson Michael Ewing commented:
“The split in the Barroso Commission on climate policy is worse than ever. Industry and Energy Commissioners, responding to fossil fuel lobbies, are stymieing agreement on Europe’s 2030 targets. The Climate and Environment Commissioners are effectively being prevented from doing their jobs as a result of a weak Commission President who is failing to live up to the EU’s stated position of playing its part in addressing the climate challenge.”
“The proposed 40% 2030 target is not in line with the emission reductions needed. It would amount to the EU following the lead of other developed countries such as USA, Canada and Australia who are refusing to face up to their responsibilities,” Mr Ewing continued.
“The Commission is proposing abandoning national renewable energy targets in favour of an EU target which would not be binding on member states and which, at only 27%, would amount to business as usual. This change is shocking given that it is the 2020 renewable energy target which has been a leading cause of the emission reductions in the EU to date,” he said.
“The issue now goes to MEPs and Ministers for their input. Minister Rabbitte has already supported the inclusion of a binding renewable energy target and we urge him to hold firm on this. Minister Hogan has not yet expressed a view on the greenhouse gas target; he must follow the science and push for a target of at least 55%. Both Ministers will be at Council of Ministers meetings at the beginning of March.”