Composed primarily of a 40% decarbonisation target and an EU-wide target of 27% renewable energy share, but no binding requirements on member states, the Commission is now halting an effort that peaked at the 2009 Copenhagen conference on climate change to decarbonise Europe’s economy.
Although the present low climate ambition proposal was welcomed with some relief by the industrial world, lobby group Business Europe “urge[s] the European Commission and the European Council to make sure that Europe will not be once again a lone frontrunner without followers”. In Italy, the powerful industry federation Confindustria was harsher in its criticism: in a letter to PM Enrico Letta, Confindustria President Giorgio Squinzi characterises the aim for 40% decarbonisation an “unrealistic target, our country should not adopt it”.
Environmental groups have expressed their profound disappointment. "This proposal is not in line with science or even the Commission's own analyses of the multiple benefits of swift climate action," said Wendel Trio of CAN Europe. "In order to keep its international climate pledges, the EU must adopt three ambitious, binding targets for greenhouse gas reductions, renewable energy and energy savings. Sadly, such ambition is lacking in this paper." WWF EU’s Jason Anderson remarked that “[t]he picture painted by the full set of policy proposals is dispiriting - an energy efficiency target has been deferred; cancelling the massive oversupply of carbon in the Emissions Trading Scheme is also deferred; closing the gaps in EU shale gas legislation is deferred. I’m sure the fossil fuel lobbyists will sleep well tonight.”
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