European Commission Proposes Plans for “20 20 by 2020”: 20% Cut in GHG Emissions and 20% Use of Renewable Power by 2020
The European Commission (EC) has proposed a detailed set of plans to implement the vision put forward in 2007 of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels and being ready to step up to 30% with an international agreement; and to produce 20% of power from renewable sources, all by 2020.
The package of proposed measures is the most far-reaching set of legislative proposals to be made by the EC for many years, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the EC, said in his speech to the European Parliament today.
The package includes:
An updated Emissions Trading System to create a borderless ETS to drive cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from big industrial emitters.
Specific, binding national targets so that member States know exactly what they have to do outside the ETS, in sectors like transport, buildings, agriculture and waste.
A new approach to actively promote renewable targets, again including binding national targets.
New rules to stimulate carbon capture and storage.
New state aid rules.
The package includes the binding minimum 10% target for biofuels in all member states that has come under increasing criticism. (Earlier post.)
Part of our mandate was the 10% target for biofuels, so that transport plays a part in emissions cuts. I want to be clear that in putting forward proposals on biofuels, we have also fully respected the other side of the mandate, the need for environmental sustainability.
So the proposal creates the most comprehensive and sustainable system anywhere in the world for the certification of biofuels – and for domestic and imported biofuels alike. We will also continue to promote the rapid development of second generation biofuels.—José Manuel Durão Barroso
The European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP)—an organization of more than 100 representatives of the agriculture and forestry sectors, as well as the food, paper and biotechnology industries, the biofuels industry, oil companies, car manufacturers, universities and researchers—plans to issue a strategic research agenda for the European biofuels industry on 31 January.
The document is intended to provide a long-term view on how to overcome the technical and non-technical challenges associated with the sustainable use of biofuels in Europe.
Barroso projected the cost of the package to be less than 0.5% of GDP by 2020—about €3 per week per person.
The Commission’s plans require approval by member states and the European Parliament.