After eight hours of debate in Brussels, the EU has come up with an energy policy which it believes will help combat climate change.
The European Commission laid out three main objectives to be achieved by 2030: to reduce gas emissions by 40 % from 1990, to use 28% renewable energies, and to improve energy efficiency by 30%.
EU Council president, Herman Van Rompuy said:“It was not easy, not at all, but we managed to reach a fair decision. It set Europe on an ambitious, yet cost effective climate and energy path. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of mankind. Ultimately, this is about survival. It is the example of a long-term policy.”
Green campaigners say the plans are disappointing, especially at a time when Europe needs to reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuel from Russia.
“When Europe sets more ambitious and constraining goals on energy efficiency and renewable energies, in reality it stimulates investment because investment will be essential,” European Green Party president, Philippe Lamberts said.
Euronews correspondent in Brussels, Isabel Marques da Silva, explains: “The heads of State and Government also nominated the new European commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, Christos Stylianides, to be the coordinator for the fight against the Ebola epidemic. It means the decision on financial help is left for the second day of the summit. It will also be when the economic recovery strategy for the eurozone is discussed.”