agreement of the 27 on a binding target to reduce their consumption

agreement of the 27 on a binding target to reduce their consumption

The target set by EU states on Monday corresponds to a maximum final consumption of 787 million tonnes of oil equivalent per year, down 36% from projections for 2030 of a “reference scenario” established in 2007 .

EU states agreed Monday on a text binding them to reduce their energy consumption, despite concerns from some about targets deemed excessive or a relaxation demanded by Madrid to the chagrin of Berlin.

787 million tonnes of oil equivalent per year

Meeting in Luxembourg, European energy ministers adopted their common position, taking up the maximum energy consumption targets proposed by Brussels in July 2021. Negotiations will now have to begin with MEPs. As part of its ambitious climate plan, the European Commission set a reduction in EU energy consumption of at least 9% by 2030 compared to 2020.

The objective corresponds to a maximum final consumption (households, businesses, buildings, etc.) of 787 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe) per year, down 36% compared to projections for 2030 of a “reference scenarioestablished in 2007. Each country will have to establish national contributionsindicativeaccording to its specificities (energy intensity, GDP…), which the Commission will examine and correct if the EU-wide target is not met. The text also imposes the renovation of at least 3% each year of the total surface of public buildings, and transparency on the consumption of data centers, which are very energy-intensive.

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“Wide support”

The compromise, approved with “broad support», «offers necessary flexibilities while maintaining the overall ambition“, underlined the French Minister for Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU. At Spain’s belated request, the text proposes to make “indicative», and no longer mandatory, the primary consumption target proposed by Brussels (which includes energy consumption for the production and distribution of electricity), i.e. 1,023 Mtoe in 2030, down 39% compared to the scenario of 2007. This could encourage the development of hydrogen, the production of which is very energy-intensive, but also limit the efforts needed to make thermal or nuclear power stations more efficient.

In response, anxious to avoid a “loophole“, Berlin passed an amendment on Monday requiring the States to imperatively transmit their contributions on their final consumption, the only one being the subject of a binding European objective – and not only on its primary consumption, which has become “indicative“. Some countries have expressed their concerns. “What if you’re already almost maxed out? The only way to achieve our goal is to shut down industries», was indignant the Luxembourg Minister Claude Turmes, calling for «not to penalize States that already have an ambitious policy“. Poland, she judges “extremely high and disproportionate» the objective which would be incumbent on him, considering that he does not take into account «its geopolitical situationdue to the war in Ukraine and the impact of the refugees it hosts (more than 4.1 million arrivals as of June 21, according to the UNHCR).


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