EU ‘on track to meet 2020 green goals but must step up long term efforts’

The EU needs be more ambitious and step up its efforts towards its 2030 and 2050 renewable energy and decarbonisation targets. That’s according to the European Environment Agency (EEA), which […]

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By Jacqueline Echevarria

The EU needs be more ambitious and step up its efforts towards its 2030 and 2050 renewable energy and decarbonisation targets.

That’s according to the European Environment Agency (EEA), which states the 28 Member States are collectively “well on their way” to meeting their 2020 green energy, efficiency and emission targets.

However it adds the region could miss its long term goals if it continues with its current trends.

The EEA’s report follows the EU’s energy package announced last week in which the region prioritised energy efficiency and renewables for the coming years.

The consumption of renewable energy is getting closer to the 20% target for 2020 but recent regulatory changes have affected investor confidence and market barriers still represent challenges for new entrants, said the EEA report.

That could make the EU miss its green energy target of 27% by 2030 if it doesn’t implement additional efforts to maintain the current pace of renewables deployment across Europe.

In energy efficiency, the average reductions in both primary and final energy consumption necessary to reach the 2030 target are slightly lower than those needed between 2005 and 2020 to meet the target for the next four years, the report states.

It adds achieving the 20% target by 2030 requires not only “stringent” implementation of energy efficiency measures but also a rapid change in consumer behaviour.

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have decreased beyond the 20% reduction target for 2020.

However Member States expect GHG emissions reductions to be between 26% and 29% by 2030 which fall short of the 40% target for 2030.

Hans Bruyninckx, EEA Executive Director said: “The way forward is clear: Member States must step up national ambition and efforts to achieve the 2020 and 2030 EU targets and to keep the EU on a path to a low-carbon, competitive and circular economy by 2050.”