On 23 October EU leaders committed by to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%, and increase EU renewable energy to least 27%. The energy efficiency target of 27 %  target is not legally binding at the national level or EU level and will be reviewed in 2020 having in mind a 30% EU-level target. The renewables target of at least 27% is binding at EU-wide level but it will not be binding at national level. The 40% emissions reduction target is going to be different for each individual member states based on their GDP per capita. A 15% interconnection target was also decided. Projects for a better use of regassification and storage capacity in the gas system shall be implemented to enhance energy security through recourse to indigenous resources and low carbon technologies.

Free allowances of carbon emissions to Member States with a GDP per capita below 60% of the EU average will continue after 2020. The agreement includes the possibility for EU countries to unilaterally include transport in the EU carbon trading system (ETS). The NER300, conceived for the demonstration of carbon capture and storage (CCS) and innovative renewable energy (RES), will continue and the allowances will reach 400 million (NER400).

Finally the EU Council  invited the Commission “to further examine instruments and measures for a comprehensive and technology neutral approach for the promotion of emissions reduction and energy efficiency in transport, for electric transportation and for renewable energy sources in transport also after 2020.” The European Council called for a rapid adoption of the Fuel Quality Directive laying down calculation methods and reporting requirements pursuant to  Directive 98/70/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels. To read the conclusion click here.