European Council Tightens - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables  -  June 29, 2022

European Council Tightens 2030 Targets for Member States

The European Council agreed June 27 to add more aggressive targets to the European Union’s energy transition plan and is now committed to reaching 40% renewable energy use and achieving a 36% reduction in energy consumption across the bloc by 2030.

The ‘Fit for 55’ package includes a set of directives meant to guide the EU toward cutting its greenhouse gas emissions levels from 1990 by 55% before 2030. The Council will bind all EU countries to these new, stricter targets, increased from a previous target of 32% renewable energy use.

The Council set industry-specific sub-targets as well, including two which member states will have the option to choose between: a 13% reduction in greenhouse gas intensity in transport, or the use of 29% renewable energy within the final consumption of energy in the transport sector by 2030. Additionally, advanced biofuels will need to account for 1% of the renewable energy supplied to the transport sector by 2025 and 4.4% in 2030.

Industrials will also be required to increase their renewable energy use by 1.1% annually, and 35% of hydrogen used in industry should come from renewable fuels of non-biological origin by 2030 and 50% by 2035.

Buildings will need to use at least 49% renewable energy by 2030.

The public sector will be required to achieve an annual energy consumption reduction of 1.7% – or 1.9% if excluding public transport or armed forces – and renovate at least 3% of the total floor area of public buildings.

Member states will need to increase their national contributions in their own energy and climate plans, which are due to be updated in 2023 and 2024, to show commitment to these accelerated energy goals.

“The agreement of the member states on these two proposals marks a major step forward in the fight against global warming,” Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French minister for the energy transition, said in a statement. “Decarbonising our energy systems through a massive deployment of renewable energies and significant efforts in energy savings is essential to achieve our climate objectives. It will also help us to reduce our dependence on Russia for energy, in the context of the war in Ukraine.”

The Council will now take these goals into further negotiations with the European Parliament.

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