EU energy ministers should get back in the saddle on climate and energy policy, Greenpeace

Press release - March 4, 2014
Brussels – Energy ministers meeting in Brussels today will discuss for the first time the European Commission’s EU climate and energy policy package for 2030.

Locked in the past: a new report explores why Europe's energy giants fear change

The Commission recommended a 40 per cent cut in domestic carbon emissions and a binding EU-wide target to increase the share of renewables to at least 27 per cent by 2030. However, the Commission has excluded setting national renewables targets and has delayed discussions on an energy efficiency target.

Greenpeace criticised the Commission package in January, describing it as a “sell-out” [1].

Commenting on today’s EU energy meeting, Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Frederic Thoma said: “A carbon target without a renewables and an energy efficiency target would be like a bicycle with no pedals – it will move but it won’t take you very far. Right now, renewables are delivering about half of all carbon cuts in Europe. This is no time to stop pedalling. EU heads of government have to get back in the saddle so that climate protection and the modernisation of the energy system can finally gain some speed.”

Several EU countries have questioned how the Commission proposal to drop binding national renewable energy targets would deliver in practice. Ministers are expected to also debate the effects of the Commission’s package on energy costs and prices, and the competitiveness of European industry.

“European ministers are not here to cover up the investment mistakes of big utilities. Energy giants pay lip service to climate change but have overlooked lucrative opportunities in an expanding renewables sector. Now they are in trouble. Governments should help steer them onto an environmentally and economically sustainable path,” added Thoma.

A new report by Greenpeace shows how Europe’s largest power companies are in trouble because of their reluctance to question dated business models in the face of far-reaching structural changes to Europe’s energy market [2].

EU leaders will discuss the European Commission’s EU climate and energy policy package at a summit on 20 and 21 March.

Greenpeace calls on EU governments to approve a set of three binding 2030 climate and energy targets in advance of a leaders’ climate summit hosted by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in September 2014. Greenpeace supports three binding targets to cut domestic carbon emissions by at least 55 per cent, to increase the share of renewables to 45 percent and to improve efficiency by 40 percent.






Frederic Thoma - Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser: +32 (0)486 401 895,

Joris den Blanken - Greenpeace EU climate policy director: +32 (0)476 961375,

Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911,


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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.