Unique gathering of organisations around Europe call for more ambitious climate targets – businesses point out barriers to be removed

(eceee Press Release, 8 Oct 2020) Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on the ambition level of the new 2030 climate target, a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs published a joint letter calling on the EU leaders to agree on the most ambitious target level. In parallel, a group representing Europe’s renewable and systemic energy efficiency value chain wrote to the European Council President Michel’s cabinet to highlight that a number of barriers need to be removed to ensure the uptake of key solutions.

Letter from the Coalition for Higher Ambition on the EU 2030 Climate Target

Signed by 47 organisations representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, €62 trillion in investment portfolio, more than 800 companies and 330 NGOs, the joint letter to EU leaders clearly expresses the desire of European stakeholders to have the EU’s 2030 climate target substantially increased. eceee is one of the co-signatories. Building on the recent proposal from the European Commission, the signatories hope European Member States will improve what is proposed, and in particular call for decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions to come on top of the needed strong emission reductions in other sectors.

The letter welcomes the Commission’s proposal to substantially increase the EU’s 2030 climate target and states that the Member States should agree on at least -55% while some civil society organisations supporting the letter are already calling for at least -65% emission reductions. European stakeholders encourage Member States to achieve increased climate target both by strong emission reductions as well as decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions in line with the need to protect Europe's biodiversity.

European cities, regions, businesses, investors, NGOs and local communities, underline that only ambitious climate action can avert the most dire future costs of climate change impacts and provide a unique societal and economic opportunity to achieve a socially just transition for all European regions. 

Nils Borg, Executive Director of  European Council for an Energy Efficient Economy said: “Energy efficiency first should remain a guiding principle for the EU's climate work, simply because it makes sense. However, the Commission needs to put more emphasis on helping and pushing Member States to step up their work on implementation.”

Letter from business groups to President Michel’s cabinet

In parellel, a second letter, drected to President Michel’s cabinet, was sent from a group representing Europe’s renewable and systemic energy efficiency value chains. The letter states that “the good news is that technologies are available. However, barriers still prevent their uptake. Therefore, we need bold and urgent action from your side. 

  • The need to systematically apply the “energy efficiency first principle” as an essential enabler for decarbonisation, by reducing energy demand and costs associated with energy production, infrastructure and use.
  • The need to recognise “flexibility” as a core driver for the energy transition with dedicated measures to promote key elements such as efficient system management, energy storage, waste heat recovery and demand response technologies.
  • The need to actively facilitate customer choice towards the most cost-efficient technologies with the highest impact in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction, building on the huge potential of digitalisation with smart technologies and controls, and with measures aimed at creating a level playing field for all energy carriers.
  • The need to sustain European excellence in renewable energies and their efficient use by further paving the way for the ambitious deployment of all renewables, with measures aimed at making use of and future-proofing Europe’s energy infrastructure as well as unlocking investments into the deployment of new, innovative technologies.