The EU Council of Ministers has adopted the energy and climate change package negotiated by Member States in December 2008. The new legislation is intended to meet the European Union’s 2020 climate goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent below the 1990 levels and boost the share of renewables in the total energy mix to 20 per cent by the same date.

The package is composed of a number of measures: (i) revision of the European Union’s emissions trading scheme obliging power installations to buy all their emissions allowances at auction, (ii) establishment of a regulatory framework for the capture and underground storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), (iii) promotion of energy from renewable sources, and (iv) CO2 emission limits for new passenger cars and standards for fuel quality.