* Commission to outline climate policy goals next week
* Expected to include one main greenhouse gas target
* Years of debate expected before firm law agreed
By Barbara Lewis and Charlie Dunmore
BRUSSELS, Jan 16 The European Union's climate
and energy strategy for 2030 will not include a specific target
on curbing emissions from transport, the fastest growing source
of greenhouse gases in the bloc and the most expensive to cut.
Many in industry and some member states have pushed hard for
a simplified EU climate framework after 2020, when current
policies expire, that ditches existing sub-targets for sectors
such as transport and energy.
That would allow governments to pursue the most
cost-effective emissions cuts as they try to safeguard the
bloc's fragile economic recovery.
But critics say this will mean emissions from transport
continue to rise in contrast to all other sectors, making it
less likely that Europe will meet its long-term climate goals.
The European Commission, the EU executive, will publish on
Jan. 22 its vision for policy to succeed its 2020 climate goals.
This will not translate into firm law until after lengthy debate
involving EU member states and the European Parliament.
EU officials say they expect the proposed goals for the next
stage to 2030 will include just one fully binding carbon cutting
target of either 35 percent or 40 percent compared with 1990
So far, the EU is on track to meet its 2020 goals to cut
greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent versus 1990 and to
increase the share of renewable energy in the mix to 20 percent.
The one non-binding 2020 goal, of improving energy savings by 20
percent, is not likely to be met.
Existing sub-targets to cut road fuel emissions by 6 percent
by 2020 and to get 10 percent of all transport fuel from
renewable sources such as biofuel are likely to be met, but are
not expected be extended in next week's proposal.
"Without a target on renewables and a sub-target on
renewables in transport in the 2030 climate and energy package,
energy from fossil fuels will be consumed instead of renewables,
rendering the greenhouse gas target more difficult to achieve,"
the European farmers' union Copa-Cogeca said in a letter to the
Commission seen by Reuters.
For 2030, the only renewable goal will be for all renewable
energy and it is not expected to be binding on individual member
states. A draft paper refers to it as "a headline target at
European level," which critics say would make it very hard to
fine nations who did little to bring on more green energy.
EU limits on fuel efficiency and emissions from new cars and
vans are still set to be tightened from 2020 and beyond, but
those improvements will be cancelled out by pollution from an
overall rise in road and other transport.
Trying to include transport emissions in the EU Emissions
Trading Scheme (ETS) - which has successfully reduced emissions
from the power sector and is viewed by the Commission as
cost-effective - has been fraught.
An attempt to make international aviation using EU airports
join the scheme from the start of 2012 provoked threats of a
global trade war, forcing the EU to back down.
EU analysis has shown that other options to reduce transport
emissions, such as increased biofuel use, are among the most
expensive ways of tackling climate change.
Losing the sub-targets contained in the 2020 goals not only
takes away an incentive to pursue biofuels, it also undermines
the need for the Commission's fuel quality directive (FQD),
designed to help member states decide which fuels best help it
to achieve the 6 percent cut in transport emissions.
The fuel quality directive, which labels unconventional
fuels such as tar sands as particularly polluting, has incurred
the wrath of leading tar sands producer Canada.
Environmentalists support the directive as a step that goes
beyond just EU-wide cuts, which also explains the intensity of
opposition to it.
A long debate to find global agreement on cutting transport
emissions, meanwhile, has yet to deliver results.
($1 = 0.7356 euros)
(Editing by Anthony Barker)