Hedegaard hails 'new 2030 dynamic'

EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard today urged the European Commission to take full advantage of a “new dynamic” behind 2030 climate and energy targets.

Hedegaard welcomed the fact that EU leaders yesterday asked the Commission for “a proposal, that is a concrete proposal, not just new papers for discussions", on targets, she told Recharge.

“This gives new dynamics in the Commission that we now have a deadline to work towards, and that is positive,” said Hedegaard on the sidelines of the Energy Europe conference in Copenhagen which opened today.

The commissioner added that there is still a lot of work to do in the months ahead, not least evaluating all inputs, but she expects a concrete proposal to be ready before the end of this year.

At the conference Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlweg, president of the European Renewable Energy Council, Dong Energy CEO Henrik Poulsen and Ditlev Engel, CEO of Vestas, all called for integrated 2030-targets – goals for emission cuts but also for renewable energy.

“We need to see at least 30% on renewables and 40% on greenhouse gas emissions,” Engel said.

Hinrichs-Rahlweg called for a renewable target of 40-45%, in order for the sector not to slow down after 2020.

Hedegaard agrees the 2030 goals should also include a target for renewable energy, and believes it is important to send a strong signal before the proposals are discussed next March.

“What we have said in the [Commission’s] Green Paper is targets, in plural. We will now discuss what that will be and how it can best work together. It is currently being discussed in detail,” says the climate commissioner.

Regarding reform of Europe’s carbon trading scheme, next month's second vote on the ETS is only a temporary solution to stabilise prices, and Hedegaard says a structural reform of the trading systems will be presented in the autumn.

Six proposals for a reform of the trading system have been presented and consultation will end before the summer.

“After that we will analyse the input and carry out an impact assessment, find out what the consequences are and try to put together a proposal.

“But the reality is, because of the timing of the backloading vote, the backloading and the structural options will collide timewise, so in the end we probably need to find a combined solution,” Hedegaard told Recharge.