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Energy - 05.09.2008
No achievement of EU's goals on renewable energy without local government's involvement
The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) has called on the European Parliament to actively involve local and regional government in delivering the EU's goals on renewable energy.
The European Parliament's committee on industry, research and energy (ITRE) will vote on the directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources, on 11 September 2008. In a letter to the ITRE committee, CEMR says that the European Union cannot reach the targets of 20% for renewable energy's share of energy consumption in the EU by 2020 without taking into account the role of local and regional government in its strategy.
In particular, local and regional government should be considered as partners of Member States and be involved in the drawing up and implementation of national action plans promoting renewable energy.
Good information is crucial to create greater awareness and active support from local communities. To overcome resistances of citizens to the planning of new renewable energy facilities like wind farms and biomass plants, public authorities at all levels should cooperate in an inclusive decision making and information process. Since they are the political level closest to the citizens, local and regional authorities have a relevant role to play to inform them on the benefits and practical implications of developing and using renewable.
The directive on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources proposes setting a mandatory target of 20% for renewable energy's share of energy consumption in the EU by 2020 and a mandatory minimum target of 10% for biofuels. It also proposes creating a new legislative framework to enhance the promotion and use of renewable energy.
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