Energy Union

Energy Union & Governance


The current European Commission embraced the concept of an Energy Union, which would enable a holistic approach to all climate and energy policies in the EU. The Energy Union is an important opportunity to build a common vision for the future of the European Union’s energy system by setting a transformative agenda, which will lead to a 100% renewable energy future and an end to fossil fuel use latest by the middle of this century. This is urgently needed if the EU is going to do its fair share of the effort needed to avoid dangerous climate change and be in line with the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increase well below 2°C and pursue efforts to stay below the 1.5°C temperature rise limit.

The Energy Union strategy also provides a framework for cooperation with countries beyond the EU, particularly in South East Europe.

The European Commission published its proposal for an Energy Union with a forward-looking climate policy in February 2015. The European leaders endorsed the Commission’s proposal in March 2015. The establishment of the Energy Union is based on “five mutually-reinforcing and closely interrelated dimensions”:

1. energy security;

2. a fully integrated energy market;

3. moderating energy demand;

4. decarbonising the economy; and

5. research & innovation.

The Energy Union strategy recognises the need to move away from an economy driven by fossil fuels, but does not define a clear course of action towards reaching this goal, which should namely be through reducing energy demand and promoting renewable energy. This inconsistency poses a risk to the EU’s long-term climate objectives, undermining the efforts to maximise the benefits of decarbonising our economy.

Next to the development of policies on renewables and energy efficiency, the Energy Union concept provides a framework for a discussion on energy governance. This is in particular important as the 2030 targets for renewables and energy efficiency that Member States have agreed are only applicable the EU level. Member States therefore need to identify the best ways to ensure that these targets are being met. It has been proven over and over again that the best way to do so is to set binding national targets.

Furthermore, within the Energy Union framework, countries are requesting that the Commission comes up with a proposal to streamline planning and reporting obligations for climate and energy policies as the current policies lead to a huge amount of separate planning and reporting obligations that do not necessarily provide a good basis to prepare for the transition to a zero carbon economy.


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Climate & Energy Targets

The EU and most other European countries have set such targets both for 2020 and for 2030. The EU has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, and by at least 40% by 2030. In addition, the EU also has targets for renewable energy and energy savings of 20% by 2020 and at least 27% by 2030. Read more

Renewable Energy

Combined with energy savings, the various renewable energy sources provide the only solution to bringing greenhouse gas emissions from the power and heating sectors to zero in a relatively short timescale. Read more

Energy Savings

Reducing energy consumption is the most immediate and cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce import dependency and therefore enhancing security of energy supply. Read more

Emissions Trading Scheme

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) is the world’s largest carbon market, covering more than 11 000 industrial and power plants in the EU-28, as well as in Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EU ETS covers about 40% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

Effort Sharing Decision (non-ETS sectors)

The Effort Sharing Decision (ESD) sets emissions reduction targets for each EU Member States for the sectors not covered under the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme. These non-ETS sectors include nearly 60% of the EU’s emissions and include ground transportation, agriculture, waste and buildings. Read more





Jean-François Fauconnier
Renewables Policy Coordinator
Jean.Francois /at/
+32 2894 4672


Theodora Petroula
Energy Savings Policy Coordinator
+32 2894 4671


Caroline Westblom
EU Climate and Energy Policy Coordinator
+32 2894 4674

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