European politicians across party lines call for long-term 100% target for renewable energy
A group of 50 European policy makers across party lines has called upon the European Commission to drastically increase the targets for renewable energy in the context of this week’s decision to set climate and energy targets for 2030. Current and former Members of Parliament (MEP) and politicians from 15 EU member states today concluded in Brussels that “self-interested actions and a lack of cooperation put Europe’s resilience, its society, economy and climate at risk. Only ambitious targets for renewable energy can sustain Europe’s economy and ultimately lead to an energy sector powered entirely by renewable energy.”
This week, European leaders will decide on the European climate and energy targets for 2030. These targets will set the terms for further negotiations and can create momentum towards a robust, universal, fair and legally binding climate agreement in Paris in 2015. “The EU must return to its leadership role – morally, politically, and economically – in tackling climate change by deciding on strong policy priorities,” said Rebecca Harms, MEP and Co-president of the European Greens/EFA. “100% renewable energy is the prerequisite to tackling climate change. It is essential to send a clear signal to our citizens, investors and the world that the EU is determined to pursue its renewables-based system.”
The current political debate on climate and energy policies is dominated by voices that claim renewable energy compromises economic growth and industrial competitiveness. However, there is broad evidence that a decentralised and people-centered renewable energy system creates local jobs, stabilises the economy by decreasing dependency on expensive fossil fuel imports, and results in revenues for communities and regions.
In fact, it is scaling up Europe’s renewable energy share that will “ensure economic prosperity, industrial competitiveness and democratic stability,” claims Fiona Hall, MEP and Member of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. “There is no reason to hesitate to adopt a long-term strategy like a 100% target when it comes to renewable energy technologies. Renewables and energy efficiency are ready to be implemented all over Europe. It is simply a matter of decisiveness about doing what is necessary.”
Former Environment Minister of Poland Maciej Nowicki said the gathering was encouraging because “it shows that there is political will and decisiveness among European parliamentarians to build a fossil free society.” He added: “What we need is more collaboration. We need to intensify cooperation with the Commission as well as with national parliaments so that they can obtain more ownership of EU legislation. This would definitely lead to a more effective implementation of the policies forged in Brussels.”
Thursday, March 20th, 2014