Loyola de Palacio, the European commissioner for transport and energy, presented the draft of a proposed directive on renewable energy sources which aims to boost consumption of “green electricity” in the European Union from the current 14 per cent to 22.1 per cent by 2010. Speaking in Santiago de Compostela, she said that Europe was not keeping to the commitment it made in Kyoto to reduce air pollution over 1990 levels by eight per cent in 2010 and said she was in favour of measures such as those outlined in the draft. Its aim is to develop and use electricity from renewable sources, the so-called “green energy,” in combination with the existence of a liberalised market, leading to guaranteed supplies, protection of the environment, competitiveness and social cohesion. Loyola de Palacio said that the European Union depends on the exterior for half its energy needs, and this is expected to rise to 60 to 70 per cent by 2020. Part of the origin of this energy, she said, is countries with fragile political regimes, which led to a need for greater autonomy in energy production.

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