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Press release: Leading businesses call for tougher EU renewables legislation

last modified Aug 02, 2017 10:03 AM
29 November 2016 – Leading businesses have called for more ambitious EU energy legislation to replace the current renewables directive to provide more effective and consistent policy following the conclusions of a report by The Prince of Wales’s Corporate Leaders Group (CLG).

In a new report published by the CLG today, Renewable Energy: a business conversation, ten businesses, including CLG members, BT, GlaxoSmithKline, Philips Lighting, Interface, Doosan Babcock, DSM and Kingfisher, share their views about the Renewable Energy policy landscape in Europe, in light of the upcoming new Directive.

Many of the businesses felt that the European Commission’s current proposals were insufficiently ambitious to deliver the policy clarity they needed. They spoke of frustration over a lack of policy enforcement, an incoherent framework and low levels of Member State ambition.

The report highlighted that while many business and industry sectors have embraced renewable energy and are eager that the European Commission deliver more ambitious policies and targets, there are concerns over the disparity between Member States’ engagement with the targets, which are not binding at the national level.

Jill Duggan, Director of the CLG, said:

“Companies from a variety of sectors are calling on the European Commission for higher ambition on renewable energy, delivered through a robust framework with strong, visible ownership of the process by Member States.  The current proposals do not provide investors with sufficient clarity about renewable energy policies in their markets.”

Ward Mosmuller Director of EU Affairs at DSM commented:

“DSM is ‘exporting’ EU generated technology to the US. Hence, EU developed know-how is creating jobs and growth outside Europe, since policy frameworks in the EU are worse than elsewhere.”

Jill Duggan continued:

“Member States must take early and ambitious action if they want to secure investor confidence. For many of those businesses we interviewed, the move from Member State targets under the 2020 package to an EU-only target feels like a big backwards step. Without strong, determined coherent leadership on renewables policy by the European Commission, we risk a lost decade for renewables in Europe setting back our long term plans.

“There is clearly a high level of ambition in these companies for robust renewable energy policy and it is encouraging that this is not only coming from energy and energy intensive companies but also those with less direct interest. The Commission now has a clear mandate to realise these ambitions.”

Alejandro Castro Pérez, Global Business Leader for Solar at IKEA, believes stability of purpose is vital for investment. He said:

“The new directive needs to be bold and clear about how Member States are supposed to get to this target.”

The report, Renewable Energy: a business conversation, found that businesses are frustrated that non-binding EU-level only targets with no common framework to engender consistency discourage investment in the transition to renewable energy.

Without a strategic planning approach, voluntary targets for Member States provide no certainty for investors when significant capital investment is needed to develop the technologies, overcome transmission and storage issues. There are concerns that the focus for investment opportunities will shift to the US and China. 

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Media contacts

For more information please contact:

Robin Clegg, The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group

07765157136 |

About The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group

The Prince of Wales's Corporate Leaders Group (CLG) brings together 24 European businesses employing 2 million people worldwide, who work under the patronage of His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales to advocate solutions on climate change to policymakers and business peers within the EU and globally. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) provides the secretariat to the CLG.

Read more about CLG’s activities at COP22

Follow the CLG on Twitter @ClimateCLG