The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has welcomed the European Union’s (EU) decision to increase its renewable energy target from 27 per cent to 32 per cent by 2030.
Adnan Amin, Director-General or IRENA said the move reinforces the EU’s position at the forefront of energy transformation and reflects the new economics of renewable energy.
He said: “The EU’s decision to increase its renewable energy target from 27 per cent to 32 per cent by 2030 is a move that consolidates Europe’s position at the forefront of the global energy transformation, and establishes a positive decarbonisation pathway in line with its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
“It is also recognition that the new economics of renewable energy have propelled it to the forefront of energy policy and investment decision making as governments around the world look to address long-term climate and economic agendas.
“Our renewable energy roadmap analysis, delivered to the European Commission earlier this year, identified that higher shares of renewable energy in the EU were cost-effective and would have a net positive economic impact.
“This ambitious and achievable new strategy will drive significant additional investment activity, creating thousands of new skilled jobs and improving health and wellbeing whilst decarbonising the European energy system. We welcome the decision and believe it can act as a source of encouragement to global policymakers, and as a clear reminder of the centrality of renewable energy to both economic prosperity and climate stability.”
But at the same time, it also highlights the potential vulnerability of Scotland’s pre-eminent position in setting – and so far achieving – ambitious climate-change targets for emissions reductions in context of British Independence from the EU Bloc.
As was spectacularly seen with the protest walk-out from the Westminster parliament by SNP MPs in Scottish seats earlier this week, the Tory party/ Westminster power -grab to divert returning powers on Brexit over the environment (and climate-change) to Westminster rather than Holyrood could entirely jeopardise the power of the Scot-Govt (of any political persuasion) to set Scotland-specific climate-change targets.
Such a doomsday scenario was highlighted by speakers and delegates alike at the agenda-setting ‘Renewables After Brexit’ conference organised by Dundee University in December 2017 – where Alex Salmond, former SNP leader and former Scottish Minister Minister was key speaker.
Neither the Scottish environment minister (Roseanna Cunningham) nor the Scottish Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse replied to invitations to speak as they were working on ‘rosy-tinted’ briefings from their civil servants that Brexit would have little impact on energy.
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