Today MEPs voted in favour of setting renewable energy targets for EU countries to reach by 2030.
A majority of MEPs on the EU’s joint Environment & Industry committee were in favour of a 40% greenhouse gas emissions cut, a 30% renewables target and a 40% boost of energy efficiency.
The three-fold resolution was backed by 66 votes, with 42 against and 3 abstentions. The next step towards the vote becoming legally binding is a plenary vote with the whole house of MEPs at the European Parliament. This will take place at the start of February.
Today’s vote will go down well with European energy ministers in countries like Spain and Germany. Before Christmas eight of them wrote a letter to Connie Hedegaard and Gunther Oettinger, the EU Commissioners for climate action and energy, stating a target would “strengthen European competitiveness” and create more jobs.
Not all parties are pleased with the prospect of a renewable power target. Lib Dem MEP Chris Davies tweeted an hour before the vote: “Big mistake in my view. Only CO2 targets matter, not particular technologies.”
Manufacturers’ lobby group EEF also disagreed with having the vote in the first place, arguing the energy mix should be a decision for member states and that EU-wide targets for particular energy types are “unhelpful”.