The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to reduce Europe’s energy consumption by 30% by 2030.
The new target comes as an attempt to reduce Europe’s energy dependency on Russian gas, after the crash of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 renewed tensions between Brussels and Moscow.
“We think that now given the need for security in the gas sector because of the situation in Russia and Ukraine we are thinking of more objective and ambitious energy saving targets.” said EU Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.
However, civil society groups and MEPs have already voiced their concerned, stressing that the European Parliament backed a 40% target earlier this year.
But Commissioner Oettinger said that a 30% reduction target would be more likely to be backed by EU Heads of State.
“I think that it will put Europe again in the cadre of energy efficiency and will certainly reduce our dependence on the importation of fossil fuels for the next years and will allow us to produce energy while being less reliable on importation.” Oettinger added.
The Commission will present the new target at the next October Summit in Brussels, when EU leaders will decide whether or not to endorse it.