CEDEC Press Release: European Council fails to provide investors with clear signals

Brussels, 24 October 2014. Last night, the European Council struck an agreement on the new climate and energy policy framework for 2030 in an effort to further reduce European greenhouse gas emissions. However, the agreement gives insufficiently clear signals to investors, such as local energy companies, on the road to 2050.

The deal, comprising a binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction of at least 40%, an increase in the share of renewable energy to at least 27% on EU level and an indicative energy efficiency target of 27% by 2030, marked the end to lengthy and difficult negotiations between Member States over ambition levels and binding nature of the various targets.

“We are pleased that the Heads of State were able to reach an agreement at this point in time. However, much will now depend on the concrete legislative proposals and their implementation to provide local energy companies as important investors, with the much needed visibility about the European policy agenda of the coming decade,” said Gert de Block, Secretary General of CEDEC.

While CEDEC supports the decision to reduce EU domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, it sees strengthened efforts to increase Europe’s energy efficiency as crucial part of this.

With regard to the 27% minimum target for renewable energy, CEDEC considers this insufficient and argues that a binding 30% target for 2030 would be not only feasible but also desirable. “We had hoped for a more ambitious target of at least 30% and especially with binding national targets, to hold Member States accountable for their commitments and drive the necessary infrastructure investments in the transition to a more sustainable energy landscape,” added Gert de Block.

CEDEC Background information

CEDEC represents the interests of 1500 local and regional energy companies with a total turnover of €120 billion, serving 85 million electricity and gas customers & connections, with more than 350.000 employees.

These predominantly medium-sized local and regional energy companies have developed activities as electricity and heat generators, electricity and gas distribution grid & metering operators and energy (services) suppliers.

The wide range of services provided by local utility companies is reliable, sustainable and close to the customer. Through their investments and local jobs, they make a significant contribution to local and regional economic development.