Agreement on climate policy framework up to 2030
During the night, the heads of state and government of the European Union agreed on a climate and energy policy framework for the period up to 2030. It sets ambitious new targets.
The new targets as laid out in the 2030 climate and energy policy framework embrace the following steps:
- A binding EU target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. The EU is thus acting as a genuine role model, also with a view to the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris next year. The Chancellor said, "We have laid out the crucial framework today to enable Europe to speak out and negotiate at the international climate negotiations."
- A binding EU minimum target of 27% has been set for the percentage of energy consumed in the EU that is to be generated from renewables by 2030. This is to promote the expansion and efficiency of renewable energy. It was also agreed that member states can set their own more ambitious national targets and support these in line with the rules governing state subsidies. The Chancellor stressed, "This is incredibly important for the energy shift in Germany and it was very important for us to have this agreed in addition to the 27% target."
- Energy efficiency at EU level is to be improved by at least 27% by 2030. To underline the EU’s ambition to achieve an even higher target, it was agreed that in 2020 this target should be reviewed, having in mind an EU level of 30%.
Europe has thus paved the way for a long-term, secure, affordable and environmentally sound energy supply. The energy and climate policy framework is designed such that industry will remain competitive. It was agreed that the free allocation of emissions certificates to industry will be shaped to take into account the imperatives of international competitiveness. In this way the Council will ensure that ambitious climate policy does not lead to manufacturing facilities being relocated to other countries.
The conclusions of the Council are a clear signal for sustainable reform of European emissions trading, including the introduction of an instrument to stabilise the market, thus ensuring that it can achieve targets effectively in future. Incentives have been created to invest in efficient technologies.
The package includes clear rules to strep up the security of Europe’s energy supplies.
Stepping up the fight against Ebola
After the first day of the Council meeting, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy reported that the EU would be stepping up its support for the fight against Ebola. Chancellor Angela Merkel explained, "We have appointed the new Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management - Commissioner Christos Stylianides from Cyprus - as the EU’s Ebola Coordinator." The EU member states agreed that the crisis represents an exceptional challenge to the entire human race, she reported.
Russia - Ukraine: importance of realising the Minsk Protocol underlined
Another item on the agenda of the Council meeting was the situation in Ukraine and the implementation status of the Minsk Protocol. The Chancellor noted "serious shortcomings" in what has actually been achieved so far compared with the provisions laid out in the peace plan of the Ukrainian President and the Russian President. The focus is on early municipal elections in Luhansk and Donetsk, which must be held under Ukrainian law.