EuroACE recognises that political progress on the level and nature of the 2030 energy efficiency target has been made over recent months, which has led to the agreement on a headline 32.5% target this week in the final trialogue on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED). The European Parliament did a tremendous job in bringing the level of ambition of the Member States upwards and in ensuring that the final deal went well beyond the original proposal of the European Commission, but it sacrificed its own position in the process.
This is regrettable as the long-standing position of the Parliament, supported by EuroACE, is that the right, cost-effective level of ambition for 2030 is a binding 40% energy efficiency target – a target that reflects the potential of energy renovation in all EU countries. The fact that the final deal falls well short of this level means that the EU, its economy and its citizens loose out on what would have been a major set of benefits. Compared to the agreed EED deal, which is estimated to create 884,000 jobs, a 40% binding target would have brought 2.5 million additional jobs. It would also have reduced gas imports to the EU by 30% and citizens would have been given a better quality of life, lifting about 15 million out of fuel poverty.
In addition, it is fully recognised that the agreed target does not put the EU on track to live up to its commitments under the Paris Agreement. This leaves much work to be done by EuroACE and other concerned stakeholders to ensure that the planned review of the target in 2023 will see an ambitious jump to a number that puts the EU on the right track.
In the meantime, we will work with Member States to ensure that the new energy efficiency framework supports the implementation of the new Buildings Directive freshly published in the Official Journal.
Our focus will also turn to the planned 2050 EU Strategy for a Low-Carbon Economy, which must, in accordance with the mandate of the Member States to the European Commission, put the EU on course to achieve the Paris Agreement goals. In particular we will work to ensure that the modelling used in the Strategy will properly account for the very positive impact that increased effort on energy efficiency can bring.