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Policy report: Energy Security - An Impact Assessment of the EU Climate and Energy Package

By Christoph Böhringer & Andreas Keller

In June 2009 the Climate and Energy Package entered into force committing the European Union to transform itself into a highly energy-efficient, low carbon economy over the next decade. The package includes three major objectives collectively known as the 20-20-20 targets to be achieved in 2020:

  • To reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% below 1990 levels,1
  • To reach 20% of renewable energy in EU gross final consumption of energy, and
  • To increase energy efficiency by 20% (as compared to business-as-usual in 2020).

The main driving force behind the Climate and Energy Package was the EU’s ambition to play a leading role in the battle against anthropogenic climate change. More specifically, the EU had hoped to push an international greenhouse gas emission reduction agreement during the Copenhagen climate change conference in December 2009 as a follow-up to Kyoto which is to expire in 2012. Beyond climate change, energy security has been put forward by the EU as another justification for launching the Climate and Energy Package. Energy security ranks high on the policy agenda of many OECD countries with the popular notion that reduced dependency on fossil fuel imports will be good for the society.