EU reviews long-term climate strategy

May 20, 2013 at 7:40 AM

BRUSSELS, May 20 (UPI) -- Renewable energy targets have advantages but European leaders need to do more than just set goals, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said.

The European Union in 2009 adopted a goal of getting 20 percent of its energy needs through renewable sources by 2020. Oettinger said the European Union needs to work on 2030 climate and energy goals as it addresses the long-term efforts of cutting emissions as much as 95 percent by 2050.

Oettinger said targets like the 2020 measures have their advantages but simply repeating those for future benchmarks isn't an evolutionary policy position.

"We have to make our strategies cost efficient. We have to avoid adverse impacts on competitiveness," he said in a statement. "And we have to take into account international developments, such as climate change negotiations."

A progress report from the European government said progress on reaching the 2020 targets was slow because of the financial crisis in the eurozone.

"Targets do have advantages. They create more certainty, transparency and solidarity," he said. "But we want to learn from the 2020 framework and take a fresh look."

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