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The insulation industry and other business interests, however, welcomed the tentative energy savings goal.
EU bosses outline increased energy savings goal
The European Commission on Wednesday put forward a target to improve energy savings by Nike Kyrie For Women
But some business interests and Britain have pushed for a single emissions cutting target, complemented by a strengthened EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).
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Reducing energy use can have the effect of adding to the surplus of carbon allowances that has weakened the market and lowering their value further.
The 2030 goals are to follow on from 2020 climate and energy policy, which includes targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent compared with 1990, increase the share of renewable energy to 20 per cent of use and increase energy efficiency by 20 per cent.
Member states will have to discuss the proposed goal and have set themselves a deadline of October to agree on a set of climate and energy policy for 2030.
Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who had called for a target of at least 30 per cent, said Wednesday decision was good news for reducing carbon emissions and "not such good news for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin".
The Commission says the European Union is on course to meet those targets, but not all nations agree that multiple goals are the best approach.
"Improved energy efficiency will play a fundamental role in helping Europe achieve its Nike Metcon 2 Black And Grey climate, energy security and competitiveness goals," said Stephanie Pfeifer, Chief Executive of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, which groups pension funds and asset managers that control 7.5 trillion euros
Business Europe, Europe business lobbying group, issued a statement saying it remained "unconvinced by the proposed multi target approach" and that the ETS should be "the only driver of energy efficiency investment in industry".
The ETS is meant to be the EU flagship policy for tackling climate change but prices of only around 6 euros per tonne are too weak to drive investment in low carbon technology.
Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the Commission agreed unanimously on 30 per cent, more ambitious than a level of 25 per cent which had been considered as part of a range of options.
"Given the need for energy security in gas because of the situation in Russia and Ukraine, what we think is a more ambitious energy efficient savings target is appropriate," he told a news conference.
Germany has called for a 2030 binding energy savings goal and a renewable target as well as an emissions reduction goal.
Environmental campaigners and Green politicians, however, said 30 per cent was not enough and cited Commission research that has shown gas imports would fall by 40 per cent with a 40 per cent target, but only 22 per cent with a 30 per cent target.
They also cite benefits to gross domestic product as a higher target would create Nike Zoom All Out
Energy savings are divisive because of the cost of the investment needed to make buildings, for instance, less wasteful.
Too many goals?
30 per cent as part of efforts to curb EU reliance on Russian gas imports.
more jobs in the building and insulation sectors, for instance.
Reuters Point Carbon, said a separate Commission proposal to launch a Market Stability Reserve to regulate the supply of ETS allowances could outweigh the "slightly bearish impact of the proposed energy efficiency target".
They must decide on whether the target should be binding on individual nations or at an EU wide level and precisely how the 30 per cent reduction in energy use compared with projected business as usual should be calculated.
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