The EU plans to cut 30 percent of its energy usage by 2030

The European Commission's latest proposal goes even further than its commitments at the Paris Climate talks.

REUTERS/Nikolaj Skydsgaard

Even if the forthcoming Trump administration doesn't take climate change seriously, the European Union plans to slash its energy usage by nearly a third by the year 2030. By the terms of the Paris Climate Agreement, the EU already planned to cut carbon emissions by 40 percent over the same period, but the new usage goal will further eliminate waste by focusing on renewable energy sources and renovating older, less efficient buildings.

"Today's proposals have three main goals," the European Commission wrote in a statement today, "putting energy efficiency first, achieving global leadership in renewable energies and providing a fair deal for consumers." As the BBC notes, the EU will also create new incentives for smart metering and innovative design in order to help energy suppliers cut back, as well as empowering more Europeans to produce and sell their own electricity. "I'm particularly proud of the binding 30% energy efficiency target," Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said, "as it will reduce our dependency on energy imports, create jobs and cut more emissions."

For now, the plan is still in the proposal stages, but if passed by the European Parliament, the binding 30% energy efficiency target is expected to kickstart "up to 177 billion euros of public and private investment per year" from 2021 to 2030 and create some 900,000 new jobs on the continent.