The Irish government circulated a fresh set of proposals aimed at weakening EU climate legislation last Monday. In a leaked paper dated October 16, which was circulated to other member states, Ireland argued against several proposals designed to ensure the EU meets its renewable energy and greenhouse gas goals for 2030.
The EU has set a collective aim of having 27% renewables in its energy mix by 2030, and is currently negotiating how it will meet this target, as member states have refused to take on any more binding national targets after 2020.
The proposed solution is that countries will “pledge” their own renewables targets for 2030 and the European Commission will assess whether they are sufficiently ambitious. The commission will then monitor member states’ progress, with a checkpoint scheduled for 2025. If it looks like member states will not meet their collective 27% goal, governments would have to pay into an EU renewables fund which would invest in additional projects across the union.
Ireland proposed several amendments last week. It believes countries which fail to meet their 2020 renewables targets should get a fresh start in 2021 rather than being expected to meet and exceed that level in 2021. A source with knowledge of the talks said Ireland was isolated on this issue.
Ireland is also opposed to payments to the new EU renewables fund being mandatory. It argues that such a requirement would “reduce the ability to invest in renewable energy” in countries that are currently behind target.
Ireland is also against being required to be 50% towards its 2030 target by 2025, arguing this is “not practical”….
As part of the new EU climate and energy rules, countries will be required to publish detailed strategies for the 2021-30 period. However, the Irish paper argues this is “not realistic”. At a meeting of environment ministers last week, a senior diplomat representing Ireland argued that 2021-30 climate and energy measures were not yet budgeted for and “perhaps society is not yet fully on board”.