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Energy efficiency – Europe is taking a step in the right direction

The Greens/EFA group has welcomed the increase in energy efficiency targets in the EU, but warned that they still fall short of delivering on the Paris climate agreement.

After particularly difficult negotiations, an agreement was reached last night on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive between the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council.

Benedek Jávor, energy efficiency spokesperson for the Greens/EFA group, comments:

“We’ve worked hard to push for the highest overall ambition possible. Despite the lack of ambition of national governments, we have managed to deliver a headline target of 32.5 % and annual savings of 0.8% for consumers. We have made sure that over the next decade there will be greater  savings, delivered at a faster pace. This will deliver tangible benefits for Europeans, not least in tackling the problem of energy poverty. It also opens up an opportunity to create thousands of jobs in the green economy, opportunities that are desperately needed in many parts of Europe.

 “Nonetheless, the measures are not enough for the EU to fulfil its commitments under the Paris Agreement. They will need to be strengthened in time if we are to meet our climate obligations and deliver the full health and financial benefits of energy efficiency to the people of Europe.”

MEP Benedek Jávor’s written comment to the COP22 debate of the European Parliament

At COP22, parties reaffirmed their collective commitment to implement the Paris Agreement – despite the outcome of the US elections.

Unfortunately, the EU has also failed to put forward any new measures to help close the emission gap and to hold global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1,5°CThus, COP24 in 2018 will be the next moment for countries to increase their ambition and scale up emission reduction pledges and the EU’s leadership is crucial. We must start walking the talk and prioritise energy transition by ramping up our own policies and inadequate climate and energy targets.

To this end, now we need an ambitious energy winter package for 2030 which promotes energy savings and efficiency measures, high renewables penetration as well as proper governance of the Energy Union. However, it seems that ECrather wants to subsidise new fossil fuel capacities and undermine market access for renewables.

The credibility of the EU and our common future is at stake.  We need to take commitments made in Paris seriously:  substantially reducing GHG emissions in the short term and bringing emissions to zero in the longer term –it is our only chance.