Over 1000 European cities have written a joint letter to European Council president Herman Van Rompuy to call for a 30% renewable energy target for 2030, alongside a 40% energy efficiency target.
On 22 January, the European Commission proposed a 40% greenhouse gas reduction target and a 27% renewable energy target that is non-binding at the national level. But the European Parliament voted in favour of stronger targets (a 30% renewable energy target subdivided between Member States and a 40% energy efficiency target). Energy Cities, the alliance representing the 1,000 cities, is hoping the EU Heads of State, who meet on the topic on 20-21 March, will follow the MEPs’ more ambitious lead.
Energy Cities president Eckart Würzner identified problems with the Commission’s weak proposals as well as problems with the clash between EU institutions’ visions. He was quoted in a EurActiv article saying, “I personally sense a great deal of disillusionment among my citizens towards European politics. An ambitious EU climate and energy policy that tackled economic growth, fuel poverty and quality of life issues would ultimately contribute to restoring trust in European institutions.”
Energy Cities represents urban Europe because they believe “the fight against climate change will be won or lost in urban areas.” An Economist analysis predicts that 33% of cities will be affected by climate change by 2025, largely due to the fact that cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions.