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Thursday, 10 March 2011

Parliament battle lines drawn over energy targets

The chair of the European Parliament's environment committee has warned the EU executive that it will face a fight over enforceable energy-efficiency limits. "The Parliament will strongly lobby for a binding target," Jo Leinen told EurActiv. "We can criticise the executive of the EU and at the very end we can even sanction the Commission if there is a strong will." The German Socialist MEP said that the Parliament would be reporting back to Commission President José Manuel Barroso on energy efficiency as part of inter-institutional protocol. "Since we have positioned ourselves more than once for a binding 2020 target, I think we will get a large majority this time again," he said. A 20% improvement in energy savings is the only one of the EU's three 2020 targets that is not compulsory, and the only one not on track to be met. Instead, savings of just 9-11% are forecast. The other EU goals are for a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% increase in the share of renewables in its energy mix, all measured against 1990 levels.