Open letter to EU leaders: Delivering the European Green Deal for a sustainable and efficient recovery of our economy

Europe’s energy efficiency businesses call on EU leaders to put the European Green Deal at the heart of their upcoming economic stimulus plans.

Brussels, 6 April 2020

Call to EU leaders:
Dear Presidents, Dear Heads of States and Governments,
Dear President of the European Commission, Dear Commissioners,
Dear President of the European Parliament, Dear Members of the European Parliament,
Dear leaders of Europe,

The coronavirus pandemic is a major shock for the European and global economy. After the urgent response measures to address an unprecedented public health crisis, policymakers will have to devise the social and economic policy package to reboot the European economy and safeguard the existing, replace lost and create new millions of jobs across the Union.
In this context, as businesses and investors working in energy efficiency, we look forward to seeing Europe’s global climate leadership translated in green measures which will lead to a sustainable recovery through stimulus packages.
We are convinced that Europe’s ambition to become the first climate neutral continent is a formidable driver to rebuild a solid, resilient, inclusive and sustainable EU economy.

The European Green Deal is an important catalyst for innovation, economic growth, and reinforced environmental and social responsibility. By basing it on the fundamental principles of energy and resource efficiency, circularity and inclusion, it can stimulate an economic transition and job creation in key sectors of our economies such as construction, transport, energy, agriculture and manufacturing.
The European Green Deal is our future-proof growth strategy and we call upon the European Commission and European Council to put it at the very heart of their stimulus plans. We will all benefit from the acceleration of investments stemming from the European Green Deal. The drive towards climate neutrality will create opportunities that will help us out of the economic crisis and prevent future health, social, humanitarian, economic and environmental crisis that we will have to face if we do not reduce CO2 emissions and keep global temperature increase below 1.5°C.

The area of our expertise, energy efficiency, is one of the pillars of the European Green Deal. The EU cannot achieve climate neutrality by 2050 without applying the energy efficiency first principle. Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions and certainly one of the fastest drivers for economic growth and job creation across Europe. We look forward to working with you to fully realize its potential. Through the upcoming stimulus plans, we have a chance to make the EU building stock, transport systems and industrial processes – more energy efficient, and by doing so mitigate the economic and social fallout of the current crisis.

Yours sincerely,

Monica Frassoni
President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE)

 

Letter: Energy efficient, renewable and flexible buildings – an integrated approach to the “Renovation wave” will secure climate-neutrality and deliver green growth for Europe

Energy efficiency, renewables and flexibility organisations join forces to call for an integrated approach to the Renovation wave to secure climate-neutrality and deliver green growth in the post Covid-19 reality.

 

To the kind attention of Mr Ciarán Cuffe MEP
Cc: Shadow Rapporteurs and ITRE Members of the European Parliament

Brussels, 2 April 2020

RE: Energy efficient, renewable and flexible buildings – an integrated approach to the “Renovation wave” will secure climate-neutrality and deliver green growth for Europe

Dear Mr Cuffe,
Dear Members of the European Parliament,

The undersigned European business associations and NGO welcome the launch of a Parliamentary debate on the “Renovation Wave” to inspire the proposal by the Commission in autumn 2020.
The achievement of climate neutrality by 2050 requires a cross-sectorial effort. The building stock in the EU must provide a significant contribution as it accounts for over 36% of EU CO2 emissions and approximately half of its total primary energy demand. In a fast- changing energy system, the path towards a highly energy efficient and decarbonised building stock is key. We trust that your report “Maximising the energy efficiency potential in the EU building stock” will recognise and promote fully integrated renovations for energy efficient, renewables-based and flexible buildings.

Joint call to EU leaders: #EUGreenRecovery to restart Europe

Europe’s renewable energy and energy efficiency businesses call to fully integrate the proposed economic stimulus packages and the European Green Deal.

 

Dear Members of the European, national and local Parliaments,

Dear Presidents, Dear Heads of States and Governments,

Dear Commissioners, Dear Ministers,

Dear leaders of Europe,

 

The immediate and necessary, yet unprecedented measures currently taken to fight the COVID-19 pandemic have brought Europe’s economy to a near-to-complete standstill.

The signatories of this letter represent millions of employees from Europe’s renewable energy and energy efficiency value chains across the electricity, heating, cooling, building and transport sectors as well as supportive associations.

We call on the EU Commission to:

  • Fully integrate the proposed economic stimulus packages and the European Green Deal (as proposed by the European Council last week). Investments in a zero-carbon infrastructure and innovative solutions are the best and most cost-effective route to economic recovery on a national and supranational level while at the same time preparing the grounds for a secure and sustainable energy system.
  • Bring forward the necessary investments for rapid recovery.
  • Use the stimulus packages to accelerate investments in energy efficiency, renewable heating and cooling, electricity, mobility, zero-carbon buildings, and industrial processes.
  • Ensure ongoing supply of clean energy and ongoing investments in energy transition can continue in the current pandemic as essential services.

We stand behind the European Green Deal and urge you to create this link with the immediate stimulus packages. Today’s action addressing health and climate challenges across all policy areas and sectors will improve the well-being of citizens and the climate while strengthening Europe.

COVID-19 has forced the world into an economic pause. Now, you have the power to use the Green Deal to restart Europe and drive its economy with a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy across all sectors. Such investments are both labour-rich and shovel-ready.

The renewable energy, flexibility and energy efficiency solutions industries are now cost-competitive and can sustain local jobs across Europe. With a strong European manufacturing base, Europe can show world-wide industrial leadership.

We trust you to take the right decisions. Our joint industries and associations are committed to making a green economic recovery a collective success.

 

Yours sincerely,

Open letter to Executive Vice-President Timmermans on European climate law

Broad cross-sectorial coalition of stakeholders calls for EU climate law to recognize the role of energy efficiency and renewables to reach climate neutrality by 2050

Dear Executive Vice-President Timmermans,

The European Green Deal  is a particularly positive beginning for the new European Commission. We welcome the Commission pledge to address the climate crisis and, by doing so, shape the future of Europe’s economy and society and lead by example worldwide.

We have come together as stakeholders representing energy efficiency and renewable technologies, local governments, regional organizations, think tanks and non-for profit organizations to express the need for climate law to orient the action of the EU towards what is the fastest and most cost-effective way to reduce emissions: the recognition of the Energy Efficiency First principle, which is a prerequisite for the much needed deployment of a 100% renewable-based energy supply.  This will boost the European economy by creating new opportunities and jobs and reduce our dependence on energy imports.

As such, we recommend to:

  • Recognize Energy Efficiency First as an overarching principle of the EU Climate Law governance
  • Include an intermediate GHG emissions reduction target of at least 55% by 2030.
  • Mainstream policy coherence with increased and mandatory energy efficiencyrenewable energy and carbon emissions targets.

We ask you to consider these recommendations and bring forward a climate law proposal which will recognise the role of energy efficiency as a potent and critical catalyst to the massive scale-up of renewables in a resource-constrained planet.

We look forward to cooperating with you to make Europe the first climate neutral continent.

 

List of undersigning stakeholders:

Open letter from the Coalition for Higher Ambition on Cohesion Policy

24 January 2020

OPEN LETTER TO THE EUROPEAN COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION: EUROPE NEEDS AND WANTS AN AMBITIOUS, EFFECTIVE AND FOSSIL FUEL FREE COHESION POLICY DELIVERING ON CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

President of the European Council, Charles Michel

President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli

Executive Vice President of the Commission Frans Timmermans

Commissioner Elisa Ferreira

Commissioner Johannes Hahn

Director General, Marc Lemaitre

All three EU institutions must seize the final opportunity to ensure that Cohesion Policy supports a truly sustainable and just transition to climate neutrality for all regions while leaving no-one behind.

EU citizens and scientists are calling on the institutions to act on the climate emergency. In December, the European Council committed the EU to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. This requires all EU funding instruments to implement and support ambitious EU climate and energy objectives. 

EU funding has a huge, though currently untapped potential to address the climate challenge. An additional €260 billion per year will be needed to make the transition happen. Investment must also be carried out in a way that fairly addresses the social impacts of climate action, ensuring no one is left behind and the benefits are redistributed, alongside the costs. This is why ongoing negotiations on the 2021 to 2027 multiannual financial framework, including those around the Cohesion Policy, are vital in aligning EU funding with climate objectives.

We therefore call on the Council, Parliament and Commission to: 

  1. Support the full exclusion of fossil fuel investments from EU financing
    Investing in fossil fuels locks-in polluting technology and infrastructure, diverting funds away from longer-term, sustainable investments that contribute to Europe’s future economic prosperity and security. The Commission’s proposal and the Parliament’s position exclude fossil fuels from the next generation of Cohesion Policy funding. The Council needs to withdraw its request for continued EU financing of fossil fuel.
  2. Uphold the Partnership Principle in all programming, implementation and monitoring of EU cohesion policy
    Achieving climate neutrality and rolling-out the Just Transition requires involving all relevant stakeholders. The development of programming documents, implementation of programmes and projects as well as monitoring EU funds must therefore involve and bring together all relevant partners from the local and national levels. Both Member States and the Commission have to ensure the full involvement of partners from the onset of the new programming process, both in legislative provisions and in practice, in order to guarantee EU funds genuinely benefit climate action in all EU’s regions.
  3. Support strong climate mainstreaming and ensure that all EU funding programmes and projects are embedded in strategies that support climate objectives
    The Commission proposal highlights the important role Cohesion Policy will play in addressing climate change in a socially fair way. To deliver on the transition, a binding 40 per cent earmarking for climate and environment across all Cohesion Policy funding has to be adopted, and climate neutrality compatibility and objectives must be embedded in all future spending plans. 

The Parliament’s position on the European Regional Development Fund, Cohesion Fund and the Common Provisions Regulation is close to bringing EU funds in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. However, it is the responsibility of all three EU institutions to realise the full potential of the €374 billion to deliver on the just transition towards climate neutrality, as demanded by European citizens.

The EU is at a critical moment. The next decade of EU funding will be crucial if Member States are to set off down a pathway that is consistent with the international commitments under the Paris Agreement and if they are to promote a transition that is socially fair, sustainable and advantageous to their citizens and their economies.

The undersigned organisations urge you to accept these recommendations and negotiate a Cohesion Policy fit to achieve the joint objectives of addressing climate change and supporting regional territorial cohesion.

Ester Asin   Wendel Trio   Huub Scheele
Director   Director   Interim Executive Director
WWF European Policy Office   Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe   CEE Bankwatch Network

 

List of undersigning stakeholders: