EU Parliament gives broad support to acceleration of energy efficiency policies post 2020

17.01.2018

Today, the European Parliament has voted in favour of reinforcing the Energy Efficiency Directive and the efforts by Rapporteur MEP Miroslav Poche for accelerating the delivery of Energy Union benefits to citizens and businesses after 2020.

The European Parliament adopted its report on the revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive. Namely, MEPs approved the Governance Regulation, the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). All three directives will be now negotiated in trilogues with the Council and the Commission. During these discussions, Member States and the European Commission will have to act consistently with their position on the Paris objectives and align with the European Parliament’s texts.

Uncertainty for renewables in heating and cooling remains

Most notably, the Renewable Energy Directive sets an adequate level of ambition with an annual increase of the RES share in Heating & Cooling of 2 percentage points in the next decade. Yet, as Member States are not held to a binding target for such a critical sector and retain important flexibility and loopholes, uncertainty for renewables in heating and cooling remains.

Provisions for the reporting on the completion of this objective are welcome as a bare minimum to keep Member States accountable. National governments will have to deploy measures to move the decarbonisation of the heating sector forward.

All in all, the EU Parliament voted in favor of a binding 35% target for 2030 with a wide support. A 35% target does leave parts of the cost-effective potential, which stand at 40%, untapped but represents a ramp-up compared to the Commission's and Council’s proposal for a 30% target. For every 1% extra energy savings by 2030, EU gas imports fall by 4%, greenhouse gas emissions decrease by 0.7% and employment increases by 336,000 jobs.

The European Parliament’s report also accelerates the delivery of the annual energy savings requirement in the Directive's Article 7 by fully including energy use in transport after 2020. This increases ambition by 50% and is instrumental in creating market opportunities and jobs in the flourishing energy efficiency business sector.

"The European Parliament gathered around a common objective: securing more benefits to citizens and companies with increasing energy efficiency", said Stefan Scheuer, Secretary General of the Coalition for Energy Savings. "The Parliament’s Rapporteur MEP Miroslav Poche has a strong mandate to convince Member States which have been hesitant on increasing ambition for energy efficiency".

Seven Member States, including France and Germany, have already expressed their intention to work with the European Parliament to increase ambition.

Volker Buddensiek / Coalition for Energy Savings

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