In Spring 2007, European leaders reached a historic agreement for the first time to create a common European energy policy. The resulting Energy Policy for Europe sets out the EU's vision for Energy in the period to 2020 and is based on three fundamental 'pillars':
- Sustainability - to ensure that the EU addresses climate change by reducing its emissions to a level that would limit global temperature increases to 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The EU will do this by committing to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; a 20% improvement in energy efficiency; and deployment of 20% of energy generation from renewable sources, all by 2020. These are known as the 20:20:20 targets
- Security of Supply - to minimise the EU's vulnerability concerning imports, shortfalls in supply, possible energy crises and uncertainty on future supply. The EU will do this by introducing measures which ensure solidarity between member states, the diversification of supply sources and transportation routes, and improved security of oil stocks, gas supply and electricity generation.
- Competitiveness - to ensure the effective implementation of the internal energy market. The EU will do this by introducing reforms to ensure clearer separation of gas and electricity transmission from production and supply, thereby creating a more competitive market and by harmonising the competencies of national energy market regulators and ensuring their collaboration.
Scotland has an extremely important role to play within the EU on international energy and climate change policy. Given Scotland's expertise in low carbon technologies and our vast renewable energy potential, including around a quarter of Europe's tidal and offshore wind capacity, Scotland has an immense amount to offer in this field - both in terms of capacity and cutting-edge thinking in the fight against climate change.
Our Low Carbon Economic Strategy and world leading Climate Change (Scotland) Act provide a comprehensive framework for Scotland's actions to tackle climate change and develop the low carbon economy of the future.
The Scottish Government is undertaking a wide range of ground-breaking initiatives which will help to maintain Scotland's position as a leader in low carbon technology. Information on Scottish Government action on European Energy policy and Climate Change policy can be found here. Please also see our recently published Towards a Low Carbon Economy in Scotland flyer to see how Scotland is driving action on Climate Change and the Low Carbon Economy.