Firms push for more energy efficiency ambition from EU

A coalition of major multinational businesses have written to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to demand more ambitious energy efficiency targets for 2030.

The letter, coordinated by the European Alliance to Save Energy, called on Juncker to establish a binding energy efficiency target “well above the current non-binding 27 per cent," with co-signees of the letter, which included the chief executives of companies such as Kingspan, Danfoss, Knauf Insulation, Phillips Lighting and Veolia, stating that the current target “barely corresponds to business as usual”.

The “business-as-usual” target of a 30% reduction in energy use by 2030 was implemented as part of the Energy Efficiency Communication in July 2014, with the letter arguing that the revised target is needed to align the EU 2030 climate legislative framework with the higher ambition agreed upon at last year’s COP21 climate summit in Paris.

A strong economic case for setting more ambitious energy efficiency goals is also indicated by the letter, which claims that if the current rate of energy productivity in the EU was doubled from its circa 1.5 per cent, household energy bills would fall by one-third and around 1.2 million jobs would be created.

“That is why the business community takes note of the position of the European Parliament to fix a binding EU energy efficiency target at 40% for 2030: we are convinced that a single EU greenhouse gas emissions target would fail to trigger additional energy savings or stop wasteful energy use and spending," the letter states.

“Energy efficiency is the key to enable energy and climate policies and must therefore come first in the design of the European energy policy framework."

The letter by promps Juncker to attend a meeting with the associated companies to discuss the target and associated economic benefits, while also including a list of 16 case studies where energy efficiency investment has been of benefit.

The letter comes a fortnight after MEPs spoke of the need for more ambitious energy efficiency targets and voted in favour of recommending that the 40% target be put in place for 2030 as well as a binding requirement stating all member states act with a “maximum degree of ambition and effort”.

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