The Socialist MEP José Blanco has assured that the Directive on renewable energies -approved by the European Parliament by 495 votes in favor and 68 against-, “puts Europe on the path of compliance with the Paris Agreements and the objectives of sustainable development ” “We can state that Europe is responding to the challenge of climate change,” he said during the plenary session.
José Blanco was rapporteur of the European Parliament for this directive, which has passed its last process yesterday, and will have to be transposed to the national laws and regulations before June 30, 2021. “It is a great agreement”, Blanco highlighted, ” because we are going to double the current rate of renewables, we increase legal certainty and simplify administrative procedures, which is crucial to favor investments, while we also increase the share of renewables in transportation or heating, “which will have an impact on the fight against pollution and climate change.
The MEP also stressed that with this Directive, Europe has placed citizens “at the heart of its energy policy, by consecrating for the first time the right to self-consumption, to produce, consume, store and sell the surplus energy produced; commit on extending the benefits of renewables to the most vulnerable citizens, contributing to the fight against energy poverty, and boosting fair energy transition measures, so that no one is left to their own devices “.
For Blanco, the commitment to renewables means “strengthening our energy independence“, and betting “for innovation, for economic activity, for quality employment in a sector where Europe lays the foundations to regain world leadership”.
Specific responses to climate change
The Renewable Energy Directive sets a binding target of 32% on the use of renewable energy by 2030, and includes a revision clause in 2023. It also establishes self-consumption as a right. The directive provides security and certainty to investors, simplifies administrative procedures through a one-stop scheme and reduces processing times. It also increases the ambition to increase the share of renewables in the transport sector, as well as in the heating and cooling sectors.
On the other hand, biofuels with high indirect change in land use (ILUC) will be phased out gradually according to a certification process for biofuels under the ILUC. The directive on renewable energies offers an impetus to advanced biofuels, leaving food aside and using materials such as forest or agricultural waste instead. It also collects additional funds from the Union to facilitate the fair transition of the regions dependent on coal and the commitment to reach the goal of 15% electric interconnection by 2030, essential for countries like Spain, so that their potential in renewable production is not see constrained by the impossibility of exporting.