MEPs approve energy savings to rescue Europe’s climate policy
The European Parliament has backed a more ambitious target for energy efficiency in a vote in Strasbourg today. A 35% binding target in the Energy Efficiency Directive will help Europe to ramp-up its climate action.
Stopping valuable energy from being wasted is widely considered as the cheapest and most effective route to cut climate-harming emissions and meet commitments made in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations with 140 members in more than 30 countries.
Roland Joebstl, EEB Policy Officer on Energy and Climate said:
“The facts are clear. Binding and strong legislation drives more energy efficiency, cuts carbon emissions, creates jobs and makes Europe less dependent on imported fuels. With the climate crisis at our doorstep, and geopolitical tensions rising, energy efficiency is our secret weapon.”
The Parliament’s position raises the target for energy savings from the original Commission proposal and finally makes the transport sector part of the energy efficiency success story.
The European Environmental Bureau now calls on European governments to match their rhetoric on climate change with action by supporting the Parliament’s position as discussions continue in the Council.
Annual energy savings measures contained in Article 7 of the Directive were intended to help cut energy bills and protect the climate. Today’s vote rectified this oversight by extending its reach to tackle pollution and energy waste in the transport sector.
Commenting on the transport sector, Joebstl added:
“Member States must now live up to their responsibility and join the European Parliament’s fight to stop dirty diesel and kickstart the mobility efficiency revolution.”
A more ambitious approach to cutting wasted energy should help to close the gap between current policy and the emissions reductions required to keep global warming below the critical figure of 2°C. The European Union and its Member States are committed to meeting targets set in the Paris Agreement but still lack the policies to deliver their promises.