Eight capitals, including Paris and Berlin, have appealed to the European Commission to include a target for renewables in the 2030 energy strategy it plans to adopt on 22 January.

In a letter to Gunther Oettinger and Connie Hedegaard, commissioners for energy and climate action, respectively, the energy ministers from Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Austria call for a "robust and long-term framework defending renewable energy sources" even if "views vary on operational arrangements". What is more, say the eight signatories - from which Spain is absent, despite its strong deployment of renewable energy - "a target for renewable energy will strengthen Europe's competitiveness and help stimulate job creation and growth". The letter, sent on 23 December 2013 and published on 6 January by several environmental NGOs, does not state whether this target should be binding (as it is now) or not, or whether it should take the form of national targets or an overall EU target.

The powerful wind energy lobby, EWEA, published a statement, on 7 January, also calling for a renewable energy target for 2030. It suggests a binding target significantly higher than 30%, in the range of 40% to 45%.

On 22 January, the Commission will adopt several communications on energy policy for the coming years. These will include the EU executive's recommendations for the 2030 climate and energy strategy that will succeed the existing package. The current strategy sets binding targets (20%) for the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the promotion of renewable energy up to 2020. A third target, also set at 20% but not binding, concerns the promotion of energy efficiency.

Everyone seems to agree that the 2030 strategy should keep a binding target for reducing GHG emissions, and the Commission proposes to set it at 40% based on the 1990 emissions level. This is a minimum, it...

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