European Union member states have not yet managed to agree on climate change targets for 2030 with a deadlock looming over this week’s summit. EU members are struggling to find a common ground on “who pays and how much” to meet the climate benchmarks. The biggest issue seems to be the divide between the poorer fossil-fuel dependent states and richer northern nations with more diversified energy portfolios. The impasse between the two groups is allegedly caused by the little rich countries, especially Nordic EU members, who are very ambitious in energy policy but who at the same time do not want to pay for sharing the costs.
The EU aims to decrease greenhouse gases by 40 percent and increase the proportion of renewable energy sources by 27 percent. Moreover, energy savings target should be set at 30 percent in draft guidelines for the conclusions of the summit. The proposed 2030 targets draw on the current agenda, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 and achieve the saving target set at 20 percent. The climate objectives are the main point on the agenda of the summit of EU leadership taking place on Thursday and Friday (October 23-24). Brussels hoped that member states would be able to reach a deal before the 2015 summit in Paris at which a new United-Nations-backed agreement on climate change will be negotiated.
However, the plans and assumptions about the climate targets turned out to be a significant burden for countries like Poland, which remain to be highly dependent on heavy pollutants, such as fossil fuels like coal. These countries demand compensation worth billions of euros to cover the cost of the modernisation of their electricity production. The situation has alarmed the United Nations, whose chief, Ban Ki-moon, emphasized the importance of the EU’s internal agreement ahead of the Paris summit during his meeting with French President Francois Hollande.