The European Union has adopted new energy efficiency and renewable energy targets that could actually overshoot the continent’s greenhouse gas reduction goals, after accounting for slower economic growth due to Brexit.
The European Parliament decision Tuesday calls for energy savings of 32.5% by 2030, with renewable energy meeting 30% of the remaining demand. Those numbers would translate into a 45% emissions reduction compared to 1990 levels, well above the EU’s current 40% target.
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EU countries are expected to adopt the revised targets ahead of this year’s United Nations climate change conference, December 3-14 in Katowice, Poland. “National governments have until the end of 2019 to draft their own plans for reducing energy usage to keep in line with the bloc’s goals,” Reuters reports.
“With today’s vote, we unlock the true potential of Europe’s clean energy transition, helping us meet our Paris Agreement goals, translating into more jobs, lower energy bills for consumers, and less energy imports,” said European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic.
To meet the targets, countries will have to reduce energy use by 0.8% per year between 2021 and 2030 and shift at least 14% of their transport sectors to renewable sources by 2030. The plan “also calls for biofuels that contribute to deforestation, such as palm oil, to be phased out by the end of 2030,” Reuters notes.