"As a result of the decision to develop a common energy policy, the first proposals, Energy for a Changing World were published by the European Commission, following a consultation process, on 10 January 2007.

It is claimed that they will lead to a 'post-industrial revolution', or a low-carbon economy, in the European Union, as well as increased competition in the energy markets, improved security of supply, and improved employment prospects. Although the proposals have been adopted by the European Commission, they require the approval of the European Parliament but were debated and approved at a meeting of the European Council on 8 March and 9, 2007.

Key proposals include:

A cut of at least 20% in greenhouse gas emissions from all primary energy sources by 2020 (compared to 1990 levels), while pushing for an international agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol aimed at achieving a 30% cut by all developed nations by 2020.

A cut of up to 50% in carbon emissions from primary energy sources by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.

A minimum target of 10% for the use of biofuels by 2020.

That the energy supply and generation activities of energy companies should be 'unbundled' from their distribution networks to further increase market competition.

Improving energy relations with the EU's neighbours, including Russia.

The development of a European Strategic Energy Technology Plan to develop technologies in areas including renewable energy, energy conservation, low-energy buildings, 4th generation nuclear power, clean coal and carbon capture.

Developing an Africa-Europe Energy partnership, to help Africa 'leap-frog' to low-carbon technologies and to help develop the continent as a sustainable energy supplier."