Outgoing Commission leaves uncertain future for energy savings

Press Release

23 July 2014, Brussels

The European Environmental Bureau condemned today’s proposal from the European Commission for an inadequate 30% efficiency target for 2030 that would only become binding if all Member States unanimously agree to that in their October meeting.

Pieter de Pous, EEB Policy Director commented: “With everything pointing to a binding 40% savings target being the best for Europe, proposing anything less than that is downright irresponsible.” He added “With energy security and competitiveness currently topping the political agenda, it is hard to understand why the one solution that would provide exactly that, while also helping the EU to reduce its emissions substantially, is being discounted.

The Commission Communication on the energy efficiency review agreed today has blatantly ignored the accompanying impact assessment. An earlier leaked version of the impact assessment had shown that benefits increase with additional ambition in energy efficiency. The Commission had estimated that every additional 1% in energy savings will reduce gas imports by 2.3%.

Achieving the EU’s cost-effective savings potential of 40% by 2030 would therefore reduce gas imports by some 40% and save the EU €552bn on energy imports in the period 2011-2030, free to be invested in the economy at home. Additional benefits would include increased economic growth and the creation of jobs. A 30% target falls desperately short of tapping this large potential.

EU leaders will now have to make the right choice for Europe’s energy future and agree on a binding 40% target at the October summit.

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Policy Officer: Energy and Climate

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