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HEAL responds to EU consultation on 2030 climate and energy package

HEAL responded to a recent EU consultation to feed into the Commission’s on-going preparations for more concrete proposals for the 2030 legislative framework which will be presented by the end of 2013.

HEAL believes that the ambitious targets for 2030 should reflect the urgency of the climate crisis and give clear priority to the structural changes needed to benefit health. There are many win-win measures for both the climate and public health. The current EU targets have been indispensable to show EU leadership at a global scale, but the current 2020 climate and energy framework is not ambitious enough.

HEAL responded to questions laid out in the public consultation including lessons learnt from the 2020 framework and the present state of the EU energy system. The current framework formed a good starting point for better health protection and an increase in the share of renewables in Europe, however there was a lack of coherence between the current 3 targets as energy saving impacts were not factored in. The 20% greenhouse gas emission reduction target is too low to respond to the climate crisis and doesn’t reap the full health benefits, and thirdly, the EU should not make the ambition of its climate and energy policy conditional to international developments. Overall, HEAL regrets that health considerations were not adequately considered in the climate and energy discussions in the last years.

For the 2030 strategy, HEAL believes that the EU should adopt a set of ambitious, coherent and binding EU-wide and national targets for emission reductions, energy savings, renewable energy production and international climate support.

Direct and indirect fossil fuels subsidies must be phased out at EU and national level, including lending of the European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development e.g. for coal power plants. The phase out of coal power by 2040 in Europe is possible and EU member states should develop national phase out plans.

In terms of alternatives and tapping into unconventional energy sources, HEAL rejects any attempt to promote shale gas as a silver bullet to Europe’s future energy supply. Shale gas has major health and environmental risks and is not a sustainable energy option for future energy supplies.

HEAL’s response to the public consultation is available here

Other useful resources include:

  • HEAL’s recent report The Unpaid health bill: How coal power plants make us sick report - EN- DE - PL
  • Joint report HEAL and HCWH Acting NOW for better health: A 30% reduction target for EU climate policy - EN- PL

Last updated on 8 October 2013

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »


HEAL has over 70 member organisations, representing health professionals, not-for-profit health insurers, doctors, nurses, cancer and asthma groups, citizens, women’s groups, youth groups, environmental NGOs, scientists and public health institutes. Members include international and Europe-wide organisations, as well as national and local groups. Read more »

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Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
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Phone: +32 2 234 3640
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Press: Elke Zander

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