The countries of the European Union are currently the global leaders in the development and application of renewable energy. Promoting the use of renewable energy sources is important both with regard to the reduction of the EU's dependence on foreign energy imports, and in meeting targets to combat global warming.
In March 2007 EU leaders reached agreement in principle that 20 % of the bloc's energy should be produced from renewable fuels and by the year 2020 as part of a drive to cut CO2 emissions. Renewables currently account for less than 7 % of the EU energy mix. In a special report, the European Parliament said that to give the legislation teeth, it should contain binding renewable energy targets for particular sectors -- electricity, heating and transport -- rather than just a general goal.