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EU strategy calls for single internal market

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The European Commission has announced a new energy strategy calling on EU member states to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 20% by 2020. This is the first time the EU has had a comprehensive energy policy.
In addition to cutting emissions by 20%, the strategy’s measures include a binding target of 20% overall energy to be sourced from renewable energy by 2020 and a minimum target for biofuels of 10%. The Commision emphasised the need to save 20% of total primary energy consumption by 2020, and believes, if this is successful, it would use approximately 13% less energy than today.
A true internal energy market will, the Commission believes, bring real choice for energy users, increase investment in energy and improve sustainability and security.
Announcing the strategy, Commission president José Manuel Barrosso said: “Energy policy was a core area at the start of the European project. We must now return it to centre stage. The challenges of climate change, increasing import dependence and higher energy prices are faced by all EU members. A common European response is necessary to deliver sustainable, secure and competitive energy. The proposals put forward by the Commission today demonstrate our commitment to leadership and a long-term vision for a new Energy Policy for Europe that responds to climate change. We must act now, to shape tomorrow’s world”.
Britain’s manufacturers have welcomed the announcement and have the Commission to take firm and quick action against those countries that are standing in the way of a fully liberalised energy market. EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation believes the failure of European markets to operate in a fair and transparent manner has been a major factor in the escalating price of energy which has resulted in British industry paying the highest gas and electricity prices in Europe.

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