The European Union unveiled a road map that calls for the "decarbonizing" of the regional economy by 2050. The European Commission, however, said more use of nuclear energy, a decentralized network and a major increase in the use of renewable energy are among the measures needed to meet the ambitious 2050 target.
Jean-Louis Joseph, mayor of La Bastidonne, France, said the European Commission wasn't optimistic about plans to boost green energy efforts. He said this is because EU leaders aren't taking the necessary steps to advance the development of technologies such as like carbon capture and storage.
"We could move so much more rapidly toward the energy efficiency target if the right incentives and targets are put into place now," he said in a statement.
Other local officials said that, while it was difficult to encourage more investments during the European bank crisis, the region is at risk of falling short of its overall energy goals.
Leaders from EU members this week backed a measure sponsored by Poland that calls for a single market for electricity and natural gas by 2014. The measure also calls on energy companies to help consumers reduce demand by 1.5 percent per year through 2020.