Climate & energy

Energy policy

The EEB strongly believes that EU energy policy for the next 40 years should contribute to the global objective of reducing the rise in global temperature to well below 2°C.

This means a 95% reduction at least in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.

Reducing energy use is the backbone of any effective climate strategy. According to IEA figures, energy efficiency measures are projected to account for two-thirds of abatement by 2020 . Reducing energy use has several other advantages, including reduced energy costs for consumers and reduced dependency on fuel imports. Reducing energy use as a policy can trigger technological innovation, create long-term, local jobs and can improve quality of life (for example in renovated buildings).

The Energy Efficiency Action Plan (EEAP) of 2006 set the framework for EU actions in this field. Its ambitions were to effectively reduce energy use in 2020 in absolute terms by 14%. However this is not likely to happen. Analysis shows that the EU will miss its 2020 primary energy saving target by about half.

Most recent data from the Commission has shown that we are likely to achieve only 9% of energy savings by 2020, falling far short of the 20% target. It is important therefore that the plan is revised, with greater ambition and focus at the implementation level. A set of targeted and coherent policies and measures, supported by a binding energy saving target from a baseline year would not only ensure that we reach the target of reducing our energy consumption by 20% by 2020 but it would ensure that we meet our emissions reduction and renewables targets while also opening the capacity for us to go further in our climate goals.

The new plan, ominously missing the word’ Action’ from its title, as the new Energy Efficiency Plan was presented by the Commission in March 2011. EEB criticised the plan ‘with little direction and no action’.  The Energy Efficiency Directive was proposed by the Commission in June as the legislative vehicle to embody the Plan’s proposals. The Directive brings together and repeals the Energy Services Directive and the Cogeneration Directive, both of which offer plenty of potential for so far untapped energy savings.

The EEB receives funding from the European Climate Foundation for its work on energy savings and efficiency, working together with other EEB member groups

Read more:

Article "An Energy efficient Europe" in Metamorphosis #59;

Letter to Van Rompuy and Barroso regarding European Council Energy and Innovation Summit, 4 February

Energy Saving Coalition letter to President van Rompuy

ENERGY FACT SHEET 1 - Who are the players on energy saving

ENERGY FACT SHEET 2 - Current EU Energy Legislation

ENERGY FACT SHEET 3 - Benefits of energy saving



Energy Saving Campaign Mapping Exercise

The energy saving campaign of the European Environmental Bureau recently circulated a questionnaire, intended to map the ambition, success and position on energy/energy saving of the 27 EU Member States. The results are in the following pages: we have prepared graphs to help convey the data as well as publish specific comments. The questionnaire was completed by 16 different organizations. The majority of which are EEB member groups. We would like to express our thanks to all those who responded. We hope this information will be of interest and help contribute to all our work and understanding on energy savings. Access the results here (pdf)