Ministers from 7 Member States ask Commission to propose a binding efficiency target for 2030

(eceee news, 19 Jun 2014) In a letter signed 17 June by key ministers from Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Portugal, the European Commission is urged to propose a binding 2030 target for energy efficiency in its review of the progress towards the 2020 energy efficiency target.

Among the signatories are two German ministers Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs, and Energy, and Barbara Hendricks, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety.  The other ministers who have signed are also ministers responsible for energy and related portfolios in their respective countries and from Luxembourg the Deputy Prime Minister Étienne Schneider has signed.

The letter takes the current situation in Ukraine as the starting point. ”Reduction of energy consumption through energy efficiency is the most robust and cost effective means of increasing energy security and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases”, the ministers write, and continue: ”there is still a considerable economic potential for energy efficiency improvements in most areas”.

The letter states that the European emission trading scheme (ETS) is currently only able to provide incentives in the electricity and parts of the industry sector, while other sectors like transport, buildings, trade, services and private households are not addressed by the EU ETS. Hence, there is a need for a new energy efficiency policy and target, the ministers conclude and write:

”The signatories of this letter share the conviction that the forthcoming review of the progress towards the 2020 energy efficiency target should present a proposal for a binding target for energy efficiency in 2030. With this letter we wish to emphasise why energy efficiency must be at the core of the EU’s climate and energy policy for the period up to 2030 and beyond in a common framework that also includes an ambitious and deliverable greenhouse gas and EU-wide renewables target and facilitates increased interconnection capacity.”

The letter further argues that a binding energy efficiency target must secure an absolute demand reduction.

The ministers ask the Commission to propose a binding target in July 2014 so it can be considered by the European Council in October this year.

The letter also argues that ”the EU target of a 20 percent energy saving by 2020 must be met” and that EU must speed up and aim for an ambitious implementation of already existing directives and measures. Existing funding and support schemes should be better used as well, the ministers write.

Download full letter here.