MEP calls for binding renewables targets

European parliament environment committee rapporteur says legal threat needed

Non-binding "indicative" targets proposed by the European Commission for EU countries to increase the share of renewable electricity should be made legally binding and lead to sanctions if not met, a key member of the European Parliament's environment committee said today.

Presenting a set of draft amendments to the proposed EU directive on electricity from renewable sources, rapporteur Johann Kronberger of Austria's right-wing Freedom Party said the move was needed to force EU member states to meet a commitment to increase the share of renewables in EU energy consumption from 6% to 12%.

The directive was finally proposed in watered-down form last May after several previous attempts, which were upset by arguments over how to reconcile continuing national subsidies for renewables with EU single market rules (ENDS Daily 10 May). In the end the Commission decided to delay introduction of any harmonised EU renewables support mechanism by five years and to propose "indicative" targets based on existing renewable shares. It warned that it would propose binding legislation if the targets were not taken seriously.

Mr Kronberger said the proposals were "a good opportunity to fulfil the EU's environmental obligations" and proposed few substantial changes beyond the call for binding targets to be included at the outset. The parliament's environment committee will debate his proposed amendments but its conclusions will carry less weight than usual since they must first be agreed by the parliament's industry and energy committee before being submitted to the plenary assembly.

Follow Up:
European Parliament environment committee, tel: +32 2 284 2111, and Mr Kronberger's report.

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