The European parliament has called for more ambitious targets in the fight against global warming.
In a resolution adopted on 14 February, MEPs urged the EU to cut CO2 emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 – much more than the 20 per cent cut called for in the European commission’s energy package.
The resolution also says the EU should be more ambitious on renewables, calling for a 25 per cent increase by 2020 instead of the 20 per cent advocated by Brussels.
MEPs want binding targets for individual sectors including electricity generation and heating – something which was missing from the commission’s text.
Finally, on biofuels, MEPs say the minimum target of 10 per cent of vehicles by 2020 should be increased to 12.5 per cent.
Parliament’s action comes on the eve of an energy council on 15 February where EU ministers will discuss the energy plan put forward by the commission.
The biofuel target is one of the issues seen as problematic by several countries and is likely to be the matter of some debate.
The report was warmly endorsed by Green MEPs including Caroline Lucas, who said the 30 per cent cut in CO2 emissions is “the bare minimum of what we must aspire towards”.
“Scientists have stressed that industrialised countries must reduce their emissions by at least this amount if we are to effectively tackle the climate crisis we are facing,” she said.
“In spite of this, the European commission has only proposed to start with a 20% reduction in its energy package.”
“EU member states must not show the same lack of ambition as the commission when they consider the energy package," she argued.
MEP Claude Turmes also welcomed the report, pointing out that parliament “condemned backtracking on CO2 emissions targets for cars and confirmed the need for a binding 120g/km binding fleet average limit”.
Tackling climate change will be high on the agenda of the EU's spring summit on 8-9 March and has been named as a top priority of the German EU presidency.