EU backs down on binding targets for renewable energy

The EU has confirmed that it will not set binding national targets for renewable energy provision. The announcement came as the European Commission set out its plans to tackle climate change over the next 16 years.

Countries such as the UK and Poland had lobbied strongly against binding renewable targets, arguing the measures would drive up energy bills.

Speaking yesterday, a spokesman for the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said:

It makes no sense to impose artificial constraints on how individual countries meet emissions targets.

We are determined to keep people's energy bills as low as possible and that means having the flexibility to cut emissions in the most cost effective way.

However, a target of 27 per cent of energy provision from renewables will be binding on the EU as a whole.

Speaking at a press conference, President Barroso, said:

Renewables target very important signal to investors and clear signal towards security of supply. We propose not to set national binding targets.

One lesson we have learned from experience is... they do not allow us to reach targets in most cost effective way.

The Commission also outlined an EU wide binding target of a 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2030. Such a dramatic cut in emissions would take the EU to CO2 levels not seen since the 1990s.