European Union moves to strengthen renewable-energy goals

European Parliament says that 35% of energy should be clean by 2030 — but target is not yet legally binding.
Wind turbine during inauguration, France 2017.

An offshore wind turbine in France.Credit: Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images

European lawmakers have backed measures that would substantially raise the European Union’s clean-energy ambitions. By 2030, more than one-third of energy consumed in the EU should be from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, the European Parliament says — up from the existing target of just over one-quarter. But the decision is not yet legally binding: the Parliament will now need to negotiate the plan with national governments, which could attempt to lower the targets.

The measures are intended to help the bloc cut its carbon dioxide emissions. The EU is the world’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States, releasing about 10% of global emissions. EU governments had agreed in 2016 — in response to the Paris climate agreement — to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, relative to 1990 levels. That target remains in place.

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