Press Release

Commission’s proposals would lead to unmanageable climate risk

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In response to the European Commission’s White Paper on the EU’s climate and energy goals for 2030, released Wednesday 22 January, E3G CEO Nick Mabey said,

“With these weak proposals, the European Commission has failed to deliver science-based proposals needed to keep the world within 2 degrees of warming. This will stifle investment and reduce the competitiveness of the European economy.”

Nick Mabey continued,

“European Member States must now fill the gap left by the Commission and agree a stronger package in March that addresses the realities of climate risk and protects the fundamental interests of European citizens and businesses.”

Following its assessment of a narrow range of climate and energy goals in what became an increasingly politicised process, the Commission today issued recommendations to curb the EU’s decarbonisation process. Commission President José Manuel Barroso proposed a target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and a goal of increasing renewable energy at Europe level by at least 27% – without targets at Member State level. The Commission’s proposals include no objective for energy efficiency, delaying any recommendation until after its review of the Energy Efficiency Directive scheduled for June.

Nick Mabey added,

“The Commission has failed to take its own advice on the benefits of higher greenhouse gas and renewables targets. If we do not see political leadership from European Heads of State in March, Europe’s world-leading low-carbon industries will stop investing at home. The resulting ‘low carbon leakage’ will cost jobs and growth across the EU, and Europe will lose its hard won position in global low-carbon markets.”

Liz Gallagher, E3G’s climate diplomacy Programme Leader, said,

“A -40% greenhouse gas target would set a dangerously low benchmark ahead of the 2015 deadline for an international climate deal. A strong climate target for 2030 would provide Europe with the opportunity to leverage global actions to tackle climate change. If adopted, these irresponsible recommendations will set up the Paris conference to fail.”

Ingrid Holmes, Associate Director at E3G said,

 “The Commission’s own analysis shows that energy efficiency is the only reason European business remains competitive. A target to ramp up energy efficiency represents the best option for reducing the high energy prices currently being paid by EU businesses and consumers, and slashing the $500 billion a year the EU currently spends on imports of oil alone.”

Ingrid Holmes continued,

“Everyone agrees energy efficiency is a no brainer – it’s time to turn that empty consensus into action.  If the Commission won’t do it, the European Council must. Only a highly energy efficient Europe will have a chance of remaining competitive in an increasingly globalised world.”



Nick Mabey - 00 44 (0) 7949 768 771 / [email protected]

Ingrid Holmes - 00 44 (0) 7825 829592 / [email protected]

Louisa Casson – 00 44 (0) 207 593 2034 / [email protected]

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