Energy 2020: A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy
A common EU energy policy has evolved around the common objective to ensure the uninterrupted physical availability of energy products and services on the market, at a price which is affordable for all consumers (private and industrial), while contributing to the EU's wider social and climate goals. The central goals for energy policy (security of supply, competitiveness, and sustainability) are now laid down in the Lisbon Treaty. This spells out clearly what is expected from Europe in the energy area. While some progress has been made towards these goals, Europe's energy systems are adapting too slowly, while the scale of the challenges grows. Forthcoming enlargements of the EU will make this challenge even greater as the Union takes in countries with outdated infrastructure and less competitive energy economies.
The European Council adopted in 2007 ambitious energy and climate change objectives for 2020 – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, rising to 30% if the conditions are right, to increase the share of renewable energy to 20% and to make a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. The European Parliament has continuously supported these goals. The European Council has also given a long term commitment to the decarburization path with a target for the EU and other industrialized countries of 80 to 95% cuts in emissions by 2050.
EU energy and climate goals have been incorporated into the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, adopted by the European Council in June 2010, and into its flagship initiative ‘Resource efficient Europe’. The urgent task for the EU is to agree the tools which will make the necessary shift possible and thus ensure that Europe can emerge from recession on a more competitive, secure and sustainable path.