Egenhofer, Christian. (2007) Looking for the cure-all? Targets and the EU's New Energy Strategy. CEPS Policy Brief, No. 118, 23 January 2007. [Policy Paper]
[From the Introduction]. On 10 January 2007, the European Commission outlined the European Union’s ‘energy and climate change vision’ based on two principal documents: • Communication on “An energy policy for Europe”, and • Communication on future climate change policy for the period post-2012 when the Kyoto Protocol expires, entitled “Limiting global climate change to 2°C: The way ahead for 2020 and beyond”.1 These two documents have been complemented by several other sectoral policy proposals on renewables, the functioning and implementation of the internal market, infrastructure (notably electricity interconnectors) and sustainable coal, nuclear and energy technologies. In its own words, the Communication on “An Energy Policy for Europe” aims at “combating climate change, limiting the EU’s external vulnerability to imported hydrocarbons, and promoting growth and jobs, thereby providing secure and affordable energy to consumers”. Within the European Commission, the most controversial issue has been the nature of long-term targets. While greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets2 and a binding EU target to source 20% of all energy from renewables by 2020 have been relatively uncontroversial from the beginning, the issue of additional sector-specific targets, for example for renewables as a share of electricity generation, and possibly for heating and cooling, transport and for combined heat and power, has been more difficult. The discussion about the need for these additional sectoral targets is likely to continue and come to the fore again in the negotiations in the Energy and Environment Councils in February, to be finally settled in the European Council on 8-9 March 2007.
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