Commission warns countries not to forego benefits of renewables

Communication calls for enforcement of EU renewables law and sets sights beyond 2020

Press release - June 6, 2012
Brussels – The European Commission will call on European governments to stand behind the development of renewable energy to unlock its full environmental and economic potential. The formal recommendations – which will be contained in a communication paper released later today – call for “rigorous” implementation and enforcement of existing EU legislation on renewables. The Commission also announced that it would explore options for 2030 renewables targets.

Countries should “phase out fossil fuel subsidies” and remove “market distortions” to allow renewables to become fully competitive, according tothe Commission. It also said that renewables could generate over three million jobs by 2030, if levels of investment are maintained.

The EU’s renewables directive is a cornerstone of Europe's climate andenergy policies and has helped bring about impressive growth in the sector,despite a major economic slump in the region. The Commission has warned countries not to lose their resolve and has promised to provide guidance on reforms of national renewables support schemes, in order to preventdisruptive change. In 2012, Spain abruptly ended all support for renewables, while maintaining subsidies for carbon-intensive coal power stations it had introduced in 2010.

Greenpeace EU energy policy director Frauke Thies said: “The Commissionis telling European governments to embrace the rewards offered by renewables and stop subsidising fossil fuels. Continued investment in green energy will pay off with more jobs, new technologies and a cleaner environment. To reap more benefits, the next step for the EU is to get the ball rolling on renewables targets for 2030."


Frauke Thies – Greenpeace EU energy policy director: +32 (0)477 790415,

Mark Breddy – Greenpeace communications manager: +32 (0)496 156229,

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