The 2030 climate and energy framework
At a glance
The European Council agreed on the 2030 climate and energy framework on 23 October 2014.
The 2030 climate and energy framework was presented by the Commission on 22 January 2014. It is a communication setting out a framework for EU climate and energy policies in the 2020-2030 period. The framework is intended to launch discussions on how to take these policies forward at the end of the current 2020 framework.
The 2030 framework aims to help the EU address issues such as:
- taking the next step towards the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 level by 2050
- high energy prices and the EU economy's vulnerability to future price rises, especially for oil and gas
- the EU's dependence on energy imports, often from politically unstable areas
- the need to replace and upgrade energy infrastructure and provide a stable regulatory framework for potential investors
- the need for the EU to agree on a greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, as part of its contribution to the forthcoming negotiations for a new global climate change agreement.
Commission communication on a policy framework for climate and energy from 2020 to 2030 - COM(2014) 0015
The 2030 framework proposes new targets and measures to make the EU's economy and energy system more competitive, secure and sustainable. It includes targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing use of renewable energies, and proposes a new governance system and performance indicators.
In particular, it proposes the following actions:
- a commitment to continue reducing greenhouse gas emissions, setting a reduction target of 40% by 2030 relative to 1990 levels
- a renewable energy target of at least 27% of energy consumption, with flexibility for member states to set national targets
- improved energy efficiency through possible amendments to the energy efficiency directive
- reform of the EU emissions trading scheme to include a market stability reserve
- key indicators - on energy prices, supply diversification, interconnections between member states and technological developments - to measure progress towards a more competitive, secure and sustainable energy system
- a new governance framework for reporting by member states, based on national plans coordinated and assessed at EU level
In the Council
The European Parliament adopted a non-legislative resolution on the 2030 framework on 5 February 2014.
The 2030 framework has been discussed both at European Council and Council level.
The Council held public policy debates on the 2030 framework on 3 March, 4 March, 12 June and 13 June 2014. The results of these debates provided valuable input to the European Council's discussions on the framework.
A further policy debate on the framework took place on 9 December 2014, during a TTE Council meeting. Discussions focussed on the new governance process. In particular ministers highlighted the need to keep the governance process as flexible as possible, as it will apply over a long period and should not increase the administrative burden on member states. The debate also looked at key energy indicators for monitoring climate and energy policies. A number of other issues were also discussed including:
- regional cooperation and coordination in planning processes
- the importance of decarbonisation
- carbon leakage
- affordable energy prices both for consumers and industry
- the completion of gas and electricity interconnections and the development of 'smart grids'
- the potential of energy and climate sector to attract investments in the framework of the proposed investment plan for Europe.
Ministers' contributions will be taken into account by the Commission in its development of the governance process together with member states. Further discussions on the topic will take place in the first half of 2015.
In the European Council
The European Council adopted conclusions on the 2030 framework in March 2014 and took stock of progress at its meeting in June 2014. At the June meeting, EU leaders also discussed the Commission's energy security strategy, which is closely linked to the 2030 framework.
At a meeting on 23-24 October 2014, the European Council agreed on the 2030 climate and energy framework for the EU. It also adopted conclusions, and in particular endorsed four important targets:
- a binding EU target of at least 40% less greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990
- a target, binding at EU level, of at least 27% renewable energy consumption in 2030
- an indicative target at EU level of at least 27% improvement in energy efficiency in 2030
- support the completion of the internal energy market by achieving the existing electricity interconnection target of 10% as a matter of urgency no later than 2020, in particular for the Baltic states and the Iberian Peninsula, and the objective of arriving at a 15% target by 2030
On energy security, the European Council endorsed further measures to reduce the EU's energy dependence and increase the security of its electricity and gas supplies.
Energy union: secure, sustainable, competitive and affordable energy for Europe
The energy union builds on the 2030 framework and integrates several policy areas into a single strategy
The agreement on the 2030 framework, specifically the EU domestic greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40%, will form the basis of the EU's contribution to the new global climate change agreement. This contribution, known as the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) was formally approved at an Environment Council meeting on 6 March 2015. The EU and its member states are the first major economy to communicate their INDCs for the forthcoming negotiations.
The European Council will continue to give strategic guidance to the 2030 framework as needed, particularly on the emissions trading system (ETS), interconnections and energy efficiency. It will also return to the 2030 targets after the COP 21 conference.
The Commission made its initial legislative proposals to implement the 2030 climate and energy framework at the end of February 2015. The proposals, set out in the energy union package, aim to provide a coherent approach to climate change, energy security and competitiveness, and contribute to achieving some of the goals agreed under the 2030 framework. The energy union package is now being discussed in the Council and European Council.