EU axes national renewable-energy goals

The European Union will abandon national mandates for renewable-energy use after 2020 under a framework on climate and energy for 2030 proposed Jan. 22 by the European Commission.

Binding national renewable-energy targets now in effect are widely blamed for soaring energy costs in Europe. The EU imposed the targets in 2009 in an effort to raise the renewable share of total EU energy consumption to 20% by 2020.

The renewable-energy mandates supported an EU goal of lowering emissions of greenhouse gases by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020.

In the new framework, which extends the effort through 2030, the EC raises the legally binding target for GHG emission cuts to 40%, to be met through domestic measures.

The new framework raises the target for renewable energy to 27% of total energy by 2030 but doesn’t provide for translation of the target into national targets through EU legislation.

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