28 June, Brussels – The Energy Ministers of EU states have agreed to support a target of 30% improvement in energy efficiency by 2030, amid arguments between states that wanted more ambition and those who wanted more flexibility.
In the process of reaching the agreement, the Council dropped the part of the Commission’s proposal that would have made this target binding. Additionally, the Council’s position reduced the Commission’s proposed 1.5% annual energy savings obligation to 1%. Member states have also now requested exceptions for certain industries for up to 35% of expected energy savings.
Central and Eastern European countries, backed by the UK, wanted to remain at the 27% target agreed by EU leaders in 2014, but other states pushed for greater ambition. In the end, France and Germany introduced an amendment to remove the word ‘binding’ from the text, to secure agreement from the UK and others.
The Council’s position will face strong resistance from the European Parliament, who are showing more ambition. The two institutions will both need to approve the final legislation.
Click here to read the Council statement.