PRESS STATEMENT: Energy ministers commitment to higher ambition is short lived

Brussels, 27th June 2022 – The general approach coming out of the Energy Council today did not reflect the calls made by leaders back in February, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Instead, Energy Ministers stuck close to the proposed overall EU binding targets back in July 2021 as part of the Fit for 55 package, instead of the higher targets* proposed in the REpowerEU plan. 

The agreed renewable energy target for 2030 of 40% and the energy efficiency target of 9% based on the EU reference scenario 2020, remains unchanged from last year despite calls from national leaders a few months ago that Europe must reduce its dependency on Russian fossil gas. Moreover, these former targets do not take into account the increases in energy prices that are impacting homes across Europe since February. CAN Europe proposes an energy efficiency target of at least 20% based on the EU Reference scenario 2020, and an EU binding renewable energy target of at least 50% by 2030, to help bring down skyrocketing energy costs and mitigate climate change.

In terms of energy efficiency, with only the final energy consumption target being binding, and not the primary target, member states will not be held accountable for what energy mix they choose to reach the energy efficiency binding target. This can disincentivise Member States from improving their energy systems and keep Europe locked into further depending on dangerous fossil fuels.

Europe can no longer afford to depend on external suppliers for its energy security and must instead look to improve energy efficiency standards and accelerate the rollout of wind and solar energy. Fortunately, there is still the opportunity to push for higher ambition on renewable energy and energy efficiency within the EU. The European Parliament still needs to vote on its position. After this, Member States and Parliament will have their final negotiations.

“The agreed target on renewable energy from the Energy Council today does not go far enough in protecting us from energy price volatility and the climate crisis. An EU binding renewable energy target of at least 50% by 2030 is needed to keep the EU in line with the Paris Agreement goal and to help limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. 

While there was agreement among Ministers that fast-tracking the deployment of renewable energy is crucial, discussions need to be had around spatial planning and mapping among EU member states for wind and solar projects. Under the Czech presidency, this needs to be discussed urgently while ensuring a transition to renewable energy with nature and citizens at its heart. ” said Veerle Dossche, EU Energy Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe

*For the REpowerEU proposals, the European Commission proposed to increase the headline 2030 target for renewables from 40% to 45% and an increase from 9% to 13% for the binding Energy Efficiency Target. 



Notes to the Editor: 

CAN Europe position paper on Energy Efficiency Directive Recast: 

CAN Europe position paper on Renewable Energy Directive Recast: 

CAN Europe briefing on REpowerEU “REpower for the People”: