EU energy ministers to discuss the role of energy measures in meeting stricter 2030 targets

News - Published 2.10.2020

On Tuesday 6 October 2020, the EU energy ministers will hold an informal video conference meeting to discuss the Union’s more stringent emissions reduction and energy targets for 2030. The meeting is based on the Commission’s communications on 17 September that the emission reduction target will be raised to at least 55% compared to 1990 levels and its assessments of the National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP). Minister of Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä will represent Finland at the meeting.

Germany, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, has posed the Member States three questions to guide the debate. First, Germany has asked the Member States’ views on how the 2030 energy targets can be achieved in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, while at the same time ensuring the EU’s performance in all sectors. The second question concerns the pricing of carbon dioxide in improving energy efficiency, and the third relates to key renewable energy technologies in achieving the EU’s 2030 and 2050 climate targets.

Finland supports the Commission’s proposal to raise the emission reduction target for 2030 to at least 55%. The key means to meeting this goal are increasing renewable energy and improving energy efficiency. Due to the more ambitious emission reduction target, these targets also need to be raised.

The increase in the emission reduction target translates into an increase in the energy targets, but meeting even the current objectives is challenging, according to the Commission’s EU-level assessment of the national energy and climate plans. According to the assessment, the current target of 32% of renewable energy would be met (33.1–33.7%), but primary energy consumption would fall 2.8 percentage points short of the target of 32.5% and final energy consumption 3.1 percentage points short of that same target.

Achieving the new target level requires that the Union, including us and other countries, succeeds in finding new ways to meet these goals. The Commission will propose several measures to advance the issue during 2020-2021. The Commission will also publish Member State-specific evaluations of national energy and climate plans later this autumn.

Finland considers it important that all low-carbon solutions are utilised in the energy system. Emissions trading and its development play a key role in the promotion of renewable energy and other low-carbon solutions.

Finland emphasises that it is essential for SMEs and energy-intensive industries that the policy measures remain predictable. It is therefore important for the Commission to carry out comprehensive impact assessments of its proposals for amendments to energy legislation.

Riku Huttunen, Director-General, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 6518
Nina Alatalo, Adviser to Minister (EU and International Affairs), Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 431 8015
Eero Karjalainen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 501 7746 (EU energy coordination within the Ministry)
Ville Niemi, Senior Specialist, Permanent Representation of Finland to the EU, Brussels, tel. +32 479 470 175

Press release from Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 2.10.2020