Tusk’s energy plan ‘not the right path for Europe’

Europe must not reduce its dependence on oil and gas from Russia by exploiting its domestic fossil fuel reserves, the European Parliament’s Green/EFA group has warned.

The group agrees the Ukraine crisis has demonstrated the benefits of having an EU energy strategy but says Poland’s Energy Union proposal provides the wrong answer.

For Polish prime minister Donald Tusk, the crisis is an opportunity to once again stress the need to fully exploit coal and shale gas reserves in Europe.

The Greens, who according to the latest PollWatch forecast might lose 16 seats in the May election, believes the EU should rely nearly exclusively on renewable energy. “We have developed scenario analyses that show it is possible to achieve a nearly 100% renweables-based economy by 2050,” said spokesman Bas Eickhout. In their common manifesto for the elections, the Greens have called for three EU binding 2030 targets: a 60% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, energy savings of 40% and a 45% share of renewable in total EU energy consumption.

Other European parties have not made specific proposals in their manifestos. The socialist PES group merely says it will support “further binding targets on the reduction of carbon emissions [and] the increased use of renewable energy”.

In its action programme for 2014-19, the centre-right EPP commits to “binding, but realistic, EU level targets for 2030... for those policy areas where they provide a proven added-value in terms of investor certainty, as well as cost-effectiveness”.

 

    Liberals in the ALDE group, who are predicted to maintain their position as the third biggest party, want to end fossil fuel subsidies and support the shift of EU structural and cohesion funds towards R&D investment in sectors such as renewables.

 

    In a resolution adopted at the beginning of the year, MEPs called for three binding targets: a decarbonisation effort in line with what the European Commission proposed in January, energy savings of 40% and a 30% renewables share.