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First reactions of the Magritte Group of CEOs on the package relating to the energy and climate framework towards 2030 published today by the European Commission

Brussels, January 22, 2014 - The approach adopted today by the European Commission concerning the EU 2030 energy and climate framework is of utmost importance in shaping the energy transition to a low carbon future. The Magritte Group of CEOs are committed to support an ambitious and realistic low carbon strategy, without compromising Europe’s industrial competitiveness. To achieve this ambition, they believe a single binding target on CO2 is crucial to ensure that European energy policy will lead to a reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply.

The package published today shows positive signals recognizing on the one hand, the importance of an efficient European carbon market, and the need to reform it, and on the other hand, to focus on a progressive integration of mature renewable energy sources in the market.

While a document of this dimension and importance for the future of Europe’s economy requires full and considered study, an initial conclusion of the Magritte Group of CEOs is that the setting of multiple targets does not support a technology neutral approach, nor does it allow a cost efficient competition between low carbon technologies. Our joint assessment indicates that opting  for a single binding target on GHG reduction, combined with emission trading reform, would help to reach the low carbon objective in a more cost-efficient way – this would provide reliable, sustainable and affordable energy supply for European industries and consumers.

The energy industry is willing to contribute positively to this debate in the coming months as important decisions are expected. We very much hope that the European Heads of State and government take into consideration the CEOs proposals during their discussions at the European Council in March.

Notes for Editors

The Magritte Group of CEOs
Over the past few months the heads of a significant number of leading European energy utilities have expressed their concerns regarding the current European energy and climate policy. They have highlighted the risks of the EU’s current energy policy: Energy security of supply is no longer guaranteed, CO2 emissions are on the rise, investments in the energy sector are not happening and energy bills are rising sharply. Facing the triple failure of the European energy policy (on competitiveness, security of supply and climate), the twelve energy companies have formulated concrete proposals to revitalize Europe’s energy policy now.

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