MEPs called for tougher 2030 renewables and energy efficiency targets and criticised European Commission proposals as “short-sighted and unambitious” in a debate on Wednesday.

The European Parliament passed a resolution by 341 to 263 to back binding targets of 30 per cent of energy from renewable sources by 2030 and a 40 per cent improvement in energy efficiency. It also endorsed cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent from 1990 levels.

In January, the Commission proposed a 40 per cent emissions target and a 27 per cent EU-wide renewable target. However, it stopped short of making member states adopt national renewables targets and a decision on energy efficiency was deferred.

Belgian MEP Anne Delvaux said: “If we have a broad energy mix with greater energy efficiency, this is the best option to reduce to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to encourage new technologies and innovation, create jobs, and change our economies into greener economies. This is why we need three binding objectives.”

Polish MEP Konrad Szymański disagreed, however, saying it was “not realistic” to double emission reduction ambitions after 2020. “It is a road to reduce the competitiveness of European industry,” he argued. “Binding objectives on renewables and energy efficiency is not a flexible arrangement.”

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