The European Union has tonight agreed to increase its energy efficiency by 32.5% by 2030. This figure falls well short of the binding target of at least 40% that would represent the most cost-effective route to delivering the Paris Agreement.
After talks failed last week, a meeting between governments and MEPs tonight reached a compromise for the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency target and a set of binding measures defined in the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations with 140 members in more than 30 countries.
Responding to the news Roland Joebstl, EEB Policy Officer on Energy and Climate said:
“The outcome of the negotiations is disappointing as anything less than a 40% improvement means delivering the Paris Agreement will be more difficult and more costly. Energy efficiency is the cheapest and most effective route to cut climate-harming emissions and protect citizens from devastating climate change. Put quite simply: we cannot achieve the Paris Agreement without tapping the full potential of energy savings.”
Last week negotiators agreed a new renewables target of 32%. The Bulgarian presidency then worked hard to reach the agreement on energy efficiency before handing over the EU presidency to Austria at the end of the month.
Energy efficiency stakeholders from across industry and civil society had been calling for a binding 40% energy efficiency target which would reflect the most cost-effective energy savings potential.
As part of the compromise the negotiators agreed to review the level of the target in 2023, leaving the door open for the targets to be raised in five years’ time.
“Despite support from leading countries like France and Sweden for a higher efficiency target of 35% the final result of is merely a door-opener for higher ambition in 2023. Europe must do more on energy efficiency to protect EU citizens from harmful climate change. We count on the climate frontrunners to stick to their commitments in five years.”
In addition to the target the Directive also continues the annual energy savings obligation set by Article 7 of the EED, requiring Member States to establish policies that deliver new action and delivering new savings for households, the service sector and small businesses.