In the build-up to a meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels next week, a number of corporate giants have called on the EU to set a target of 35% renewable energy supply by 2030.
Google, Amazon, IKEA, Unilever, and many more have all called on energy ministers to raise the current 27% target for 2030 to be raised to 35% as well as reduce regulations that would make it much more cost-effective for businesses to invest in renewables and purchase electricity from state-owned renewable sources.
Encouraging large businesses to invest in renewables and clean energy sources is a vital way of reducing carbon emissions and the reliance on fossil fuel sources for energy. Currently, renewables make up 11% of the energy supply to the EU with oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear energy making up the rest.
Importantly, businesses are taking their role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a more sustainable energy supply seriously. Of the businesses that collectively called for the EU targets to be raised, IKEA, Google, and Unilever all have their own sustainability plans that include transitioning to renewables, not just in their stores, but across their whole supply chains. And they are doing all of this without the pressure of renewable energy policy targets.
It is important that national governments and international bodies take their role in tackling climate change seriously. It is not common that they lead the way when it comes to creating a sustainable future, that is more commonly left to individuals or corporations, but they do set the lower limits and enforce everyone else to keep up. EU member states like Denmark, who have been able to power the entire country for short periods by wind energy alone, and Portugal, who have managed something similar with a combination of renewable sources, are taking leads in comparison to other member states, but a new EU target of 35% renewable energy supply will encourage other member states to keep up, and perhaps even go further.