Deutsche Bank Research: Timely comment on the latest EU climate targets
The climate targets recently adopted by the EU show a high degree of flexibility. This reflects the conflicting interests and the heterogeneity of the EU member states, for example in terms of energy generation or degree of industrialisation. However, the pronounced flexibility is not necessarily bad news.
The fact that the EU intends to rely also in future on revitalised EU emissions trading as its main climate protection instrument is to be welcomed. Compared with other countries – such as the United States or China – the EU committed itself early on with an ambitious CO2 reduction target of at least 40%.
At its recent summit the European Council set out its climate targets for the period up to the year 2030. The list of objectives contained virtually no surprises. CO2 emissions are to fall by at least 40% (vis-à-vis 1990) by that date. Furthermore, the share of renewables in energy consumption is to increase to 27% at the EU level by 2030 (2012: 14%). In this context, no specific expansion targets for renewables were stated for the individual EU members. Finally, energy efficiency in the EU (vis-à-vis a business-as-usual approach) is also to climb by 27%. No specific or binding objectives have been set for the individual nations for this efficiency target either.
The targets include a high degree of flexibility as they leave plenty of room for manoeuvre on national energy and climate policies. This does not necessarily have to be interpreted as bad news.
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“On sober reflection, though, the EU committed itself early on in comparison with other countries – such as the US and China – with its binding reduction target of at least 40%."”