by Committee of the Regions
Members of the Committee of the Regions have expressed disappointment at the European Commission’s environmental 2030 plans published last week. They had hoped the proposals would commit EU Member States to reducing greenhouse gases by 50%, raise the mix of renewable energy and bind members to increase energy efficiency by 2030.
The European Commission began the first phase of its consultation on the 2030 targets when it released its Green Paper last March. The Committee of the Regions will formalise its response when its members meet in Brussels on 30 January. Sirpa Hertell (FI/EPP) Vice-Chair of Espoo City Council who is leading the Committee’s report on the issue, expects to receive the backing from the other local and regional politicians as she calls for a “Need to reduce energy consumption, increase energy independence and shift from fossil-based to renewable energy sources”. This must be achieved, her draft opinion argues, by increasing renewable energy, reducing 1990 levels of greenhouse gases by 50% (10% higher than the Commission plans), and binding member states to targets on energy efficiency, which has been rejected by the Commission.