Europe’s political leaders have supported calls for the continent to be more ambitious on renewable energy.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPS) voted today for a collective clean energy target of 35% by 2030, an 8% increase on the 2016 target set by the European Commission.

Welcoming the news, Giles Dickson, WindEurope CEO, said: “Good on the Parliament. 35% makes sense economically. Consumers benefit – wind is now the cheapest form of new power generation in Europe. And wind is a key part of European manufacturing and exports – it supports 263,000 jobs in Europe industry and contributes €36bn to EU GDP. A 27% target puts all that at risk. And 27% carries a major opportunity cost. The difference between 27% and 35% in wind is €92bn investments not made and 136,000 jobs not created. And other sectors would miss out too with a lower target: every €1,000 invested in wind creates €250 value for the wider supply chain including chemicals, steel and construction. The Commission is starting to get it: they think going beyond 27% is cost-effective. Denmark and Portugal are also calling for a higher target: others in the Council now need to reconsider.”

Member states will need to put forward their ‘national energy and climate action plans’ outlining how they will feed into this goal by next summer.