European Commissioner for Climate Action: We need more ambitious climate targets for 2030

15 October 2013

The EU should set more ambitious climate targets for 2030 including setting more than one carbon reduction goal. This was the suggestion of the European Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, at the Eurogas annual conference in Brussels on October, 9.

“I think that is wise,” she said. “During the economic crisis we had more than one target and that has helped us a lot.”

She believes that fixing more ambitious targets will stimulate real climate action: “Imagine if we had only had a CO2 target and the ETS (Emissions Trading System) during this crisis,” she is reported to have said. “Would Europe have continued to have such a strong focus on energy efficiency and renewables? I don’t believe it.”

The EU’s Green Paper, A 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, recommended that the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions, “would need to be reduced by 40% below 1990 levels to be on track to reach a GHG cut of 80-95% by 2050”. For renewable energy, the report indicated a share of around 30% in 2030.

The EU’s current target is to cut carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, create 20% of energy consumption from renewables and improve energy efficiency also by 20%.

According to, ‘Trends and projections in Europe 2013 – Tracking progress towards Europe's climate and energy targets until 2020’, part of those targets has already been achieved. The EU had cut 18% of carbon emissions between 1990 and 2012, and renewables account for 13% of the energy mix in 2011.

By Maria Mateeva.

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