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14 ministers urge EU to adopt ambitious climate and energy framework

07 March 2014
14 ministers urge EU to adopt ambitious climate and energy framework

LONDON: Fourteen EU ministers have stressed that the EU must reach an agreement on the main elements of its 2030 environment and energy policy at the March meeting of the European Council. They argue that failure to do so will deter clean energy investment and progress on tackling global warming.

The 14 ministers are members of the Green Growth Group, a coalition of 13 countries determined to keep climate on the EU's agenda. The alliance have called for: “an ambitious and cost-effective 2030 climate and energy framework, including a binding domestic greenhouse gas target of at least 40%”.

They argue that “a delay risks undermining commercial sector confidence, deferring critical energy investments, increasing the cost of capital for these investments, and undermining momentum towards a global climate deal”.

The call to action was prompted by hesitancy on the part of a number of countries, to agree a political deal on tackling climate change. The main opposition has come from Poland, a country whose economy is heavily dependent on coal. The Eastern European state has indicated that binding targets on renewable energy would place great strain on the nation. However, the panel of ministers are adamant that “limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees is an absolute necessity”.

In January this year, the European Commission set new targets for a 2030 climate and energy policy, which called for a 40% cut in greenhouse gases below 1990 levels and 27% renewable energy generation, a goal broadly supported by the Green Growth Group.

However, given that the legislative proposal for this target is not expected until next year, it will take more time to finalize the 2030 law and the framework for its implementation.

The Green Growth Group ministers are:

  • Melchior Wathelet, Belgium
  • Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Denmark
  • Keit Pentus-Rosimannus, Estonia
  • Ville Niinistö, Finland
  • Philippe Martin, France
  • Sigmar Gabriel, Germany
  • Barbara Hendricks, Germany
  • Gianluca Galletti, Italy
  • Wilma Mansveld, the Netherlands
  • Jorge Moreira da Silva, Portugal
  • Dejan Židan, Slovenia
  • Miguel Arias Cañete, Spain
  • Lena Ek, Sweden
  • Edward Davey, the United Kingdom

Read the EU's energy and climate framework for 2030

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Image: Ed Davey taken by Chatham House

By Alana Ryan

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