Energy Policies at Crossroads: Will Europe’s 2030 Targets and Framework be in Line with the Paris Climate Agreement?

  • Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes
Part of the Innovative Renewable Energy book series (INREE)


In November 2016, the European Commission presented the Clean-Energy-for-All-Europeans Package. It consists of eight legislative proposals which should define targets and policy and regulatory frameworks for the EU’s climate and energy policies up to 2030 and beyond. Recasts of the existing Renewable Energy Directive and the Energy Efficiency Directive, as well as proposals for a new energy market design, which should be fit for renewables, are among the key elements of the package, which aims at replacing the existing 2020 framework. The package includes 2030 targets for greenhouse gas reduction (at least 40%), energy efficiency (at least 27/30%) and the share of renewables in gross final energy consumption (at least 27%). In contrast to the 2020 framework, the EU-wide renewables target would no longer be underpinned by binding national targets but should be reached in a joint effort with a new governance system.

Since the proposal was submitted to the European Parliament and the European Council for the legislative procedures which had to end in an agreement before the elections in May 2019 for the European Parliament, controversial debates were taking place. The intention was to finalise the legal procedures before the end of 2018. Parliament and Council decided about their respective opinions about the various pieces by February 2018. Afterwards, compromise negations took place, before the whole package was eventually accepted by both bodies.

Among the most controversially discussed topics was the ambition level of the proposals and whether or not it is in line with the commitments signed by the EU and all its Member States in the context of the Paris Agreement. Industry stakeholders not only from the renewable energy sector and environmental NGOs have proposed significantly higher targets in order to stay “well below 2 °C” of global warming until the end of the century. They also suggested continuing binding national targets or—as a compromise—enacting a very strict governance system.

I shall present and evaluate the 2030 framework decision process and the results. And I shall end with some policy recommendation still to be considered in the ongoing debate.


Paris Agreement Clean-Energy-for-All-Europeans Package Policy framework 2030 targets 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.European Renewable Energies Federation (EREF)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)BerlinGermany

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