Year 11 | 10 December 2019 | TO ENTER | TO REGISTER

Adoption of climate and energy package

The European Commission welcomes the formal adoption of the climate and energy package and legislation to reduce CO2 emissions from new cars and transport fuels. The measures, agreed in December, put Europe firmly on the road towards becoming a low-carbon economy and will increase energy security. The package sets legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below 1990 levels and to increase the share of renewable energy to 20%, both by 2020. It will also help achieve the EU's objective of improving energy efficiency by 20% within the same timeframe. The package makes Europe the first region in the world to implement such far-reaching, legally binding climate and energy targets. It represents an important contribution to reaching an ambitious international climate agreement at the United Nations climate conference in December.

Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "Today we have reached agreement on one of the top priorities of this Commission. The energy and climate change package represents the litmus test of Europe's ability to act for the benefit of its citizens. Coupled with yesterday's agreement on strengthening the EU internal energy market, we have taken an important step forward to increase energy efficiency and security, and strengthen Europe's position for a new international climate agreement later this year".

The package delivers on EU leaders' commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% of 1990 levels and to raise the share of energy consumption provided by renewable resources to 20%, both by 2020. It also contributes to the target of improving energy efficiency by 20%.

The package lays the basis for increasing the emissions reduction from 20% to 30% in the context of a satisfactory international climate agreement in which other developed and developing countries contribute their fair share to limiting global emissions. The international agreement is due to be concluded in December at the U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen.

The climate and energy package consists of four legislative texts:
- A Directive revising the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), which covers some 40% of EU greenhouse gas emissions;
- An "effort-sharing" Decision setting binding national targets for emissions from sectors not covered by the EU ETS (see Annex);
- A Directive setting binding national targets for increasing the share of renewable energy sources in the energy mix (see Annex);
- A Directive creating a legal framework for the safe and environmentally sound use of carbon capture and storage technologies.

The package is complemented by two further legislative acts that were agreed at the same time:

- A Regulation requiring a reduction in CO2 emissions from new cars to an average of 120g per km, to be phased in between 2012 and 2015, and further to 95g per km in 2020. This measure alone will contribute more than one-third of the emission reductions required in the non-ETS sectors;
- A revision of the Fuel Quality Directive requiring fuel suppliers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the fuel production chain by 6% by 2020.

by S. C.
26 april 2009, Food & Fun > Nature