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More effort needed to meet 2020 clean energy goal -EU Commission

Mar 27, 2013 -

* EU risks missing 20 pct clean energy target in 2020

* States urged to boost electricity grid investments

* Warning comes as bloc considers new 2030 climate goals

BRUSSELS, March 27 (Reuters) - European Union governments must modernise their electricity grids and remove investment barriers to meet a 20 percent target for renewable energy use in 2020, the bloc's executive said on Wednesday.

While the 27 EU member countries are currently on track to achieve the 2020 renewable energy goal, many risk falling behind in the coming years without additional efforts, the European Commission said.

"There are reasons for concern about future progress: the transposition of the directive has been slower than wished, also due to the current economic crisis in Europe," the Commission said in a statement.

The warning came as the Commission sketched out new 2030 targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and using clean energy, designed to keep the EU at the forefront of global efforts to combat climate change.

The bloc currently has three 2020 climate policy goals: to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent compared with 1990 levels, increase renewables to 20 percent and improve energy savings by 20 percent.

It is currently on course to meet the first two targets - which are legally binding - but not the non-binding energy efficiency goal. (Reporting by Charlie Dunmore; editing by Rex Merrifield)