Commission Energy plans need beefing up on efficiency and green energy

EEB Reactions

[Brussels 25 February 2015]

The European ‘Energy Union’ Communication released today sets out a vision to see energy efficiency as an “energy source in its own right” and says that Europe is ready to step up its ambition on energy efficiency for 2030. This rhetoric now needs to be backed up by action, but is already overshadowed by an almost obsessive search for new gas suppliers. A successful Energy Union requires putting the ‘efficiency first’ principle into practice and a binding efficiency target at the cost-effective level of 40% [1] by 2030.

Roland Joebstl, EEB Policy Officer on Energy and Climate Change, reacted “The Juncker Commission claims it is ‘big on big things’ , yet in the case of climate and energy this is still to be demonstrated.” He added “Tackling climate change and the issue of energy security means that the 2030 targets and related policies must be revised upwards instead of spending political capital on looking for more fossil fuel suppliers.”

The Energy Efficiency, Buildings and Energy Labelling and Ecodesign Directive are great examples of successful EU level actions. But the Commission now needs to be clear on how they will strengthen these instruments to deliver more reductions in energy consumption and GHG emissions.

Under the plans released today however, the risk of investing in soon to be outdated infrastructure for fossil fuel imports remains. EU investments must be compatible with our long-term climate and energy goals. In particular in times of crisis the EU cannot afford expensive investments in fossil fuel infrastructures that will become stranded investments as our efficiency improves and innovation creates new technologies.

The Commission must now urgently start the review of the climate and energy targets for 2030 and check their consistency with staying below a 2°C global temperature rise. This includes assessing the viability of strengthening these targets to a 40% end-use savings in 2030, domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions of at least 60% and ensuring that at least 45% of Europes energy stems from sustainable renewable sources.


[1] Fraunhofer ISI (October 2013), Analysis of a European Reference Target System for 2030

[2] EEB Position on the EU’s 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies

Notes to editors

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest federation of environmental citizens’ organisations. It is the environmental voice of European citizens, standing for environmental justice, sustainable development and participatory democracy. Our aim is to ensure the EU secures a healthy environment and rich biodiversity for all.

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Roland Joebstl - Energy and climate policy officer - +32 (0) 2289 1303

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