We need binding targets to save energy, reduce emissions and create new jobs
Ahead of the European Council on a new climate and energy policy framework starting on Thursday, Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament called for ambitious binding targets in order to guarantee a sustainable and competitive economy capable of creating smart jobs.
The S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"We want the new framework on climate and energy policy to be a first step towards a Green Economy. Now we have to work to make the Investment Plan, put forward by the new Commission, consistent with this approach. For this reason, in our negotiations with Juncker, we have ensured that Vice President Timmermans will also be in charge of the horizontal competence for sustainable development which is a top EU priority. We have to orient the investment plan towards sustainability. This the only way to create high quality jobs and ensure long term development for Europe."
S&D vicepresident responsible for climate change and energy, Kathleen Van Brempt, said:
"It is essential that heads of governments assume their responsibility when they take decisions on Thursday and Friday. And they must take decisions. If Europe does not face its responsibility we will have major problems when we go to UN climate summits and expect other countries to stand shoulder to shoulder with us.
"In February the Parliament established some important guidelines. The S&D Group would have gone further, but this was the compromise reached and the Council should stick to it: at least a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to the 1990 level; at least 30% renewable energy and 40% improvement of energy efficiency.
"This will allow us to ask third countries to also assume their responsibility in the fight against climate change.
"We must clearly state that there is no contradiction between these targets and citizens' well-being in Europe. On the contrary, studies show that every family would save 300 euros annually if the 40% energy efficiency target was implemented."