The EU sets even more aggressive emissions reduction targets
The European Union has introduced a revision of its Effort Sharing Regulation, which aims to reduce member-state emissions by 2030. The revision increases 2030 emissions reduction targets from 30% to 40% against the 2005 baseline. This marks the first time member states are subject to binding targets, impacting road transport, heating, agriculture, waste management, and some industrial installations. An overwhelming majority in the European Parliament approved the revision. Each member state has a specific target based on GDP, cost considerations, and an annual emissions ceiling.
The Effort Sharing Regulation is part of the EU’s Fit for 55 Plan, which aims to reduce emissions by a minimum of 55% by 2030 over 1990 levels. It aligns with the European Green Deal and supports the European Climate Law. On the same day, the EU Parliament also voted in favor of new rules on land use, land use change, and forestry, increasing targets for carbon sinks and biodiversity to put the EU on a climate neutral track by 2050.
Renewables hit a new record in grid share in 2022
According to Bloomberg’s Sustainable Energy Factbook, renewable energy hit a new record in grid share in 2022, with a 12% year-on-year rise in power generation. The factbook also shares a composition of new power generation and power storage built in the year, which showed that the U.S. added about 40 GW of capacity, with only 6 GW being natural gas-fired, representing a new low for natural gas in the last 20 years. 32 GW of the new capacity was renewable power generation and storage projects—mainly wind and solar.
The factbook predicts renewables will continue to break records in 2023. While solar’s progress was held back in 2022 due to supply chain interruptions, solar industry representatives expect these obstacles to ease in 2023, paving the way for significant increases. We talk a lot about decarbonizing the grid as a huge construction project, so seeing that these new builds favor renewables is unquestionably good news.
- European Parliament News. “Climate change: Parliament votes to reduce member states’ emissions by 40%” https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20230310IPR77227/climate-change-parliament-votes-to-reduce-member-states-emissions-by-40 Accessed March 16, 2023
- BloombergNEF. “Sustainable Energy in America 2023 Factbook” https://bcse.org/images/2023%20Factbook/2023%20BCSE%20BNEF%20Sustainable%20Energy%20in%20America%20Factbook.pdf Accessed March 16, 2023