EU agrees to ramp up 2030 renewable energy targets, accelerating shift from fossil fuels

Environment

The EU has pledged to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by 2027 in response to President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
Christian Charisius | Afp | Getty Images

The European Union is poised to ramp up its 2030 renewable energy targets, accelerating a shift away from fossil fuels as the bloc seeks to rapidly cut emissions and reduce its dependence on Russia.

Negotiators from the European Council and Parliament on Thursday reached a provisional deal to source 42.5% of the 27-nation bloc’s energy from renewable technologies such as wind and solar by the end of the decade, EU lawmaker Markus Pieper said via Twitter.

Pieper described the agreement as “a good day for Europe’s energy transition.”

The deal is said to include an additional 2.5% “indicative top-up” to allow the bloc to reach a 45% share. It is set to replace the EU’s current renewable energies directive target for a 32% share of renewable energy by 2030, which has been in place since Dec. 2018.

The proposal must now be approved by EU member states’ representatives in the Council and then in Parliament. Such agreements are typically given with minimal changes.

The EU has said it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050. In the medium term, it wants net greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by at least 55% by 2030, which the EU calls its “Fit for 55” plan.

The “Fit for 55” package was first presented in July 2021 and seeks to align the EU’s climate and energy legislative framework with its 2050 climate neutrality objective.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine since Feb. 2022 and an ensuing energy crisis have fundamentally changed the region’s energy landscape in recent months. The bloc’s lawmakers have come under pressure to bring the region’s targets in line with this new reality.

The EU has pledged to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels by 2027 in response to President Vladimir Putins hostilities in Ukraine.

Research published in late February by independent energy think tank Ember showed that the EU’s projected installation rate of so-called clean energy technologies was on track to outpace expectations of its “Fit for 55” package.

Analysts at Ember warned that the EU was at risk of “killing the momentum” of its energy transition by sticking with a low target.

The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, is the chief driver of the climate crisis.

— CNBC’s Anmar Frangoul contributed to this report.

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