Call grows for EU to focus on energy efficiency

Intro

As key figures in the European Commission meet today to try to thrash out a 2030 energy efficiency target, NGOs, progressive business and industry groups are calling on them to select the highest possible option. Supported by seven EU member states and backed by public support in the countries such as Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, seen as foot-draggers on climate action, today’s calls underline the benefits for both the climate and the economy of a strong energy savings target. EuroAce, the European Alliance of Companies for Energy Efficiency in Buildings, is highlighting how Europe’s leaky buildings are massively increasing the bloc’s need to import dirty fossil fuels. From today until the end of the year, the EU will rely entirely on foreign energy imports, but with a binding energy efficiency target for 2030 of 40%, EU Energy Dependence Day “would fall a full four months and eight days later”. Further, greater energy efficiency would slash costs. Importing energy cost the EU €421 billion in 2012 – a daily expenditure of over €1.1 billion that could be spent “in our homes, in our schools, in our hospitals”.

The crisis in Ukraine has pushed the issue of energy dependence up the EU’s political agenda, with the Commission increasingly looking at ways of reducing energy demand in the EU. A study published today by the World Energy Council (WEC), Cambridge University and the European Climate Foundation also highlights the importance of energy efficiency. It shows that rising sea levels, extreme weather events and an increase in the frequency of droughts and floods will play havoc with the world’s energy systems as climate change takes hold. Despite efforts to increase energy efficiency, the amount of energy used globally is set to rise, but this increase could be mitigated if companies invest in renewable and low-carbon forms of energy, suggests the report. As Christoph Frei, secretary general of WEC, says, “the time has come to get real about the challenges facing the energy sector”.

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MT @WWFEU Today is EU #EnergyDependence Day. A 40% #EU2030 #energysavings target would push it back 4 months. pic.twitter.com/2EzeDwObh5

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Join the Twitterstorm: Tell the EU Commission to support a 2030 efficiency target

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  • A 40% #energyefficiency target = 1st step towards more #EnergySecurity, Mr @GOettingerEU. #EU2030
  • Do the math @CHedegaardEU: less energy use= less #Greenhousegasemissions. Support a 40% #EU2030 #energyefficiency target. #ClimateChange
  • Will @BarrosoEU support a 40% #EU2030 #energyefficiency target? More energy efficiency = More jobs created = More EU #competitiveness

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  • “The solution for reducing energy demand in the EU is staring at us in the face – with a 40% binding energy efficiency target supported by a binding sectoral target for buildings we would achieve strong political commitment and market certainty to kick-start investment in our leaky building stock and thereby achieve huge energy savings. In fact, capturing the potential in buildings to reduce dependence is less expensive than supply side options. [Money spent on energy imports] would be better used investing in our homes, in our schools, in our hospitals.” – Adrian Joyce, Secretary General of EuroACE.
  • “Climate change is certain to impact the energy sector. We need robust and transparent policy frameworks to unlock the long-term investments that are urgently needed to deliver the future we want. Leadership will be required at all levels. The time has come to get real about the challenges facing the energy sector.” – Christoph Frei, Secretary General of WEC
  • “Leading businesses in this [the energy] sector increasingly realise that business as usual is no longer possible or acceptable. – Philippe Joubert, executive chairman of WEC’s global electricity initiative, and former president of Alstom Power
  • “If the world wants to avoid a temperature increase of 5 or 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, then ambitious programmes of energy efficiency have to be launched in all sectors and in all countries. The IEA’s new manuals on energy efficiency indicators will help countries design and implement dynamic, viable energy efficiency programmes.” –  IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven
  • “[Energy efficiency had for too long been] a subject for Sundays, not for Mondays or Tuesdays.” – Günther Oettinger, EU Energy Commissioner

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  • MT ‏@Green_Europe Over 85% of east Europeans back robust #EU2030 climate goals http://www.euractiv.com/node/302870 #energyefficiency