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REASON 6: Enable us to tackle Climate Change.

What does the Lisbon Treaty say?

The Lisbon Treaty specifically grants the EU the power to promote international action against climate change.  This was at the request of the Irish government.

Article 3 of the Lisbon Treaty sets out the EU’s objective of aiming for a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment.

The Lisbon Treaty places new emphasis on energy policy for the EU as a whole (Article 194). Under the Lisbon Treaty, EU-wide energy policy will:
  • aim to ensure the functioning of the energy market;
  • ensure security of supply;
  • promote energy efficiency and energy saving;
  • promote the development of new and renewable forms of energy;
  • and promote the interconnection of energy networks.
However, EU legislation will not affect a member state’s right to determine the conditions for exploiting its energy resources, its choice between different energy sources and the general structure of its energy supply.

What has the EU done so far?

  • The EU is leading the way for a new international agreement to tackle climate change.  It has been already said that together, all EU member states will reduce their emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, and by 30% if big countries like America, China and India sign up to make serious reductions in their carbon emissions.
  • The EU established the world’s first carbon market, which puts a price on the right to emit carbon into the atmosphere.
  • It also has set each member state a target for renewable energy, and for carbon reduction through energy efficiency.