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European Utilities Call for Higher Green Energy Targets

European Utilities Call for Higher Green Energy TargetsEuropean Utilities Call for Higher Green Energy Targets

Some of Europe’s top utilities have called the EU’s green energy targets unambitious, urging the bar to be raised in the fight against climate change, a letter seen by Reuters said.

The letter, signed by six companies, including Italy’s Enel , Spain’s Iberdrola and Britain’s SSE, called for the current target of at least 27% of European Union energy consumption to come from renewable sources by 2030 to be raised to 35%.

“The proposed EU binding target of at least 27% ... lacks ambition and would slow down the current rate of renewables deployment in the EU,” the letter said.

The letter coincides with delegates meeting in Bonn on the first day of talks to try to bolster the Paris climate accord setting a goal of ending the fossil fuel era this century by shifting to renewable energies such as wind and solar.

The 2015 pact has been strained by US President Donald Trump’s plan to pull out and instead promote the US coal and oil industries.

In the letter, the utilities said the new target they proposed could be achieved through increased electrification of transport and heating sectors as well as “a redesigned electricity market fit for renewable”.

Many of Europe’s leading utilities have been downsizing their coal- and gas-fired power plant portfolios in recent years to focus more on renewable energy to meet changing consumption patterns.

The EU is having difficulty producing a coherent approach from its member states to meeting its carbon reduction commitments under the Paris climate agreement.

While western European states are broadly in favor of stronger commitment, central European states do not share the enthusiasm. Coal-fired power in those regions remains strong and there is also resistance to proposed reforms of the EU emissions trading system.

The reforms aim to increase the price paid by power stations and factories for the carbon dioxide they put into the atmosphere. The EU wants a deal to finalize its climate commitments during the Bonn talks, which started on Monday and runs for two weeks.

 

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