17th October 2014

2030 climate goals to face tough opposition from V4

European Council summit of 23-24 October drawing near, the positions of individual Member States towards the proposed 2030 energy and climate goals start leaking. In January, the Commission proposed the next climate and energy policy framework for the decade following the current Europe 2020 strategy. The proposed goals are 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 and 27% share of renewables in the EU energy mix. Later, the 30% energy efficiency improvement goal was included. The greenhouse gas goal was proposed as mandatory for each Member State, while the other two possibly mandatory on EU level or non-binding, up to the European Council to decide. Following a leak, the alleged positions of the Member States were published. A table created by Euractiv.com shows how different the positions of the individual states are. Some countries, like Sweden, are to push for an even stronger commitment. Others, mainly Poland with the support of other V4 countries and Bulgaria, are opposing the targets. Mainly Poland, which gets the most of its electricity supply from high-emission coal plants, would be hit severely by the new framework. According to the foreign minister Schetyna, the government fears that energy prices might rise by 120%. Therefore Poland, with a strong, though not unlimited, support from the V4 is said to be ready to veto the deal, if the EU does not agree on an effective compensatory mechanism. However, the Polish position should not block the decision if all the 27 remaining Member States reach an agreement, adds foreign minister Schetyna.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic