The European Commission has unveiled a new energy policy, proposing a common European response to climate change. It is calling on member states to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.
EC President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “We need new policies to face a new reality: policies that maintain Europe’s competitiveness, protect our environment, and make our energy supplies more secure. Europe must lead the world into a new, or maybe one should say post-industrial, revolution.”
The Commission’s report said shutting nuclear reactors, as some states plan, will make it harder to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
There are measures to end the dominance of individual energy companies, expected to spark strong opposition in France and Germany.
They involve splitting the generation and distribution businesses of power companies.
Consumers could buy gas and electricity from anywhere in the bloc.
There is a proposal that 20 percent of EU power should come from renewable sources, like wind, by 2020. This tops the existing 12 % target.
Each European government must approve the plan before it can come into force.