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EU RED revision: EU lawmakers fail to set ambitious renewables target, EEB says

On 30 March (Thursday), the European Parliament, Commission and Council reached a long-awaited agreement on the revision of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED). 

In the last round of inter-institutional negotiations, a deal was agreed on the overall EU renewable energy target for 2030 – a mandatory 42,5 per cent share of renewables in gross final energy consumption, and a 45 per cent voluntary target – and on targets for renewable fuels of non-biological origin (RFNBOs) used in transport. 

Mix reactions from European stakeholders

The revised agreement has received mixed reactions from various energy actors across the continent. The European Environment Bureau (EEB) said that the 42,5 per cent target fails to meet the desired ambitions, which is a result of strong lobbying from the nuclear industry, according to the pan-European citizens’ organisation. “It is very disappointing to see the ambition on the EU renewable energy target watered down through undue influences on the RED by the nuclear lobby and their champions among EU governments. A mandatory 45 per cent target would already be weak and outdated,” said Cosimo Tansini, Policy Officer for Renewable Energy at the EEB.  

“Scenario modelling shows that 50 per cent is possible and recommendable to respect our climate goals from the Paris Agreement, hence anything lower than 45 per cent simply shows European dis-unity and lack of ambition. It is now crucial that EU countries commit to steep decarbonisation and renewables roll-out trajectories with a clear aim to exceed the targets set in the RED,” he added.

Conversely, the pan-European membership organisation, the European Federation of Intelligent Energy Efficiency Services (EFIEES) welcomed the revised renewables deal. “We welcome this development that will enable the acceleration of the deployment of renewable energy,” the group said via Twitter following the announcement.

“2022 has seen the world’s largest-ever annual increase in new renewable capacity of almost 300 GW, and Europe accounted for 8.8 per cent of all new additions. But annual deployment levels of renewable’s power globally must triple to some 1000 GW by 2030 to keep a 1.5 Celsius perspective alive,” said the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, Francesco La Camera and EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson in a joint statement.

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