MEPs suggest higher EU energy efficiency targets

EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS/FILE PICTURE

A worker constructs the roof of an energy-efficient home.

ENVI Committee included a 40% binding energy efficiency target for 2030, while the Commission had proposed 30%


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BRUSSELS – On September 7, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on its formal opinion on the revision of Energy Efficiency Directive for the period 2021–2030, including a 40% binding energy efficiency target for 2030, while the Commission had proposed 30%.

“On the Energy Efficiency Directive, fantastic vote on the ENVI Committee – 40 percent efficiency target, compared to the 30 percent of Council and the Commission, and very strong Article 7 which is de facto the article where you have a yearly obligation for Member States to reuse final energy and which is in a certain sense the most important instrument to get to the 40 percent,” Greens MEP Claude Turmes from Luxembourg told New Europe after the vote on September 7. He was speaking on the sidelines of a European Energy Dialogue organised by the European Economic and Social Committee that also included national binding targets for the Energy Union.

The Industry, Transport and Energy Committee (ITRE), which is the lead committee on the directive, will vote and adopt its report on November 28. The final report then goes to a plenary vote before the full European Parliament.

“That was a big step forward in the dynamics to get a good vote in the Parliament in the Energy Efficiency. The next step is to vote in the ITRE committee. ENVI is doing an opinion to the Industry Committee and the Industry Committee wil vote on 28 November,” Turmes said, who is a member of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe also hailed the vote. “By calling for a higher target and a stronger savings obligation, MEPs boosted the ambition of the future energy efficiency law,” Dora Petroula, Energy Savings Policy Coordinator at CAN Europe said. “This position brings us much closer to meeting the Paris Agreement goals which require the EU to up its game on energy efficiency. The Industry Committee needs to follow suit and support a 40% efficiency target and a strong set of rules to ensure all EU countries limit energy waste,” she added.

WWF also hailed the Environment Committee’s vote, noting that MEPs also removed some loopholes that would undermine the directive’s mandatory 1.5% annual cut in energy consumption. “It’s a bright day for energy efficiency. The Environment Committee has lived up to its name – its proposed 40% target would further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, moving us towards our Paris climate goals. Moreover, better energy efficiency is good for people’s health, wallets, and the economy,” said Arianna Vitali, senior policy officer for energy conservation at WWF European Policy Office.

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