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IEA: EU Needs To Do More To Meet Ambitious Climate Goals

The European Union (EU) has a commendable green recovery plan, but it needs more robust policies than those currently in place if it were to meet its ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its policy review on the EU on Thursday.

The EU bloc is doing a good job in clean energy in the electricity sector, where the share of renewables is growing, but progress in transportation and energy-efficient and energy-saving buildings and appliances has been slow, the IEA said.

The EU unveiled at the end of last year the European Green Deal, a program to become climate neutral by 2050. Under the Green Deal, the EU will support investments in sustainable businesses, technologies, and solutions and in greener energy and electricity generation. The Deal also includes a so-called Just Transition Fund to support with money packages regions and/or countries heavily reliant on coal. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU proposed funding instruments to support investments in economic recovery with a focus on the green and digital transitions.

According to the IEA’s policy review report on Thursday, the European Green Deal is “a real opportunity to boost investments in clean energy transitions.”

IEA’s recommendations for the EU include stimulus in energy efficiencies, which should be “a prime target, as they can boost job creation in critical manufacturing, construction, and small and medium-sized businesses, save consumers money, and reduce GHGs.”

“With its recovery plans, the EU has a real opportunity to boost economic activity, create jobs and support the long-term transformation of its energy sector,” IEA Executive Director, Fatih Birol, said in a statement.

“The review supports the Commission’s firm commitment to a green recovery, which is at the heart of our proposal for a €750 billion recovery plan,” said Kadri Simson, the European Commissioner for Energy.

The IEA itself unveiled a sustainable recovery plan last week for the global post-coronavirus economy over the next three years, requiring total investments of US$3 trillion.  

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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