Unique gathering of organisations call for more ambitious climate targets

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.

Signed by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and other 46 organisations, representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, €62 trillion in investment portfolio, more than 800 companies and 330 NGOs, the joint letter clearly expresses the desire of European stakeholders to have the EU’s 2030 climate target substantially increased. 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.

 

Download the full letter here

Renewable and efficiency businesses highlight priorities for increased climate ambition

Together with a large group representing Europe’s renewable and systemic energy efficiency value chains, EU-ASE sent a letter to the cabinet of European Council President Charles Michel.

The signatories strongly welcomed the increased ambition recently announced by the Commission, which builds on the key pillars supported by our associations: the combination of the energy efficiency first principle with the transition to renewable energies, with a specific emphasis on the electricity, heating & cooling, building and transport sectors.

The letter states:

“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 group highlighted four top priorities to ensure an increased climate ambition by 2030. These are:

  • 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.

 

Download the full letter here

A smart, energy efficient and fair Renovation Wave for a faster economic recovery

In an open letter sent to the European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, the group of progressive businesses and NGOs which constitute the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) called on the Commission to present an ambitious Renovation Wave initiative based on the energy efficiency first principle and funded by sufficient and dedicated resources.

In the broader energy system integration context, the letter states, the energy efficiency first principle must guide all building renovations’ decision-making processes. This implies the recognition of buildings as strategic and priority infrastructure for Europe.

With regards to resources, it is crucial to secure dedicated financial envelopes for building renovations within the National Recovery and Resilience Plans, InvestEU and the post 2020 Cohesion funds. Funds should be clearly earmarked and conditioned to increase the rate, depth and quality of integrated building renovations, the signatories write. The granting of financial support should follow the ratio “unit of energy saved (or CO2 saved) per invested Euro”, to ensure cost-effectiveness measurements of investments supported by EU funds.

Moreover, an ambitious Renovation Wave should focus on immediate, efficient heat decarbonisation. This is a great opportunity to accelerate the decarbonisation of heat in Europe’s buildings by combining energy efficiency, digitalisation and direct electrification with the deployment of smart, efficient, responsive electric heating and district level heating solutions. These can secure immediate carbon savings in buildings through existing and cost-effective solutions, enabling the use of waste heat and by the same token allow to prioritise limited green hydrogen capacity for deployment in harder-to-abate sectors, such as industry and freight.

From an environmental perspective, evidence shows that the Renovation Wave is a conditio sine qua non to reach the increased GHG emissions target for 2030 and climate-neutrality by 2050. Smarter and energy efficient buildings not only contribute directly to the reduction of energy demand and GHG emissions, but they are a prerequisite for a faster and deeper integration of renewables. 

The synergy between energy efficiency first in the building stock and the acceleration of renewable energy penetration is the real game changer and essential driver of the inevitable transformation of our energy system.

 

Download the letter here

EU-ASE supports call from over 150 CEOs urging EU to raise 2030 emissions target

In a critical year for climate action, five years on from the landmark Paris Agreement and with the clock ticking for countries to ratchet up ambition before the end of the 2020, CEOs from over 150 European businesses, investors and business networks are calling on EU policymakers to support an EU 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of at least 55%, necessary to raise the pace and focus of transition efforts for the EU to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050.

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and its President Monica Frassoni are proud to support this call and to join such group of progressive businesses at a crucial time for Europe and the World. Among EU-ASE membership, the signatories include the CEOs of the following companies: Signify, Schneider Electric, Saint-Gobain, and Knauf Insulation.

The letter states:

“What we urgently need to see next is an ambitious implementation of the recovery package focused on achieving a green and digital transition, with the European Green Deal at its core and an elevated short-term emissions reduction target in its sights.”

“The right decisions now can help create and protect healthy, thriving and fair communities and secure a roadmap for a prosperous economy. Delivering Europe’s long-term ambition to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050 requires an extensive set of urgent measures to scale up action. From a business and investor perspective, clarity on the net zero transition pathway and timetables for each sector, as well as policy that enables substantial investments in carbon neutral solutions is essential.

“We are writing to call on you, as European leaders, to avoid the worst effects of climate change and secure a sustainable, competitive economic recovery by:

  • endorsing the ambition set out in the European Green Deal
  • submitting resilient recovery plans which enable the green investments needed to deliver climate neutrality
  • agreeing a clearly defined target to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and associated objectives

“We understand the risks posed by climate change and biodiversity loss to our businesses and are already working to unlock change in key economic sectors. Investors, banks and insurers are working to transition portfolios to net zero emissions. More than 900 companies are taking science-based climate action and more than 400 have approved science-based targets. We are investing heavily in clean energy, energy efficiency and electrification, lowering emissions across value chains and the lifecycle of our products, and developing better practices in the bioeconomy.”

As a strong signal of business and investor leadership for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery, the letter is being profiled by the UN Climate Champions Race To Zero campaign at the Opening Day of Climate Week NYC. The letter is being presented to Executive Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.

The signatories, members of the Corporate Leaders Groups, the We Mean Business coalition, as well as IIGCC and Business Ambition for 1.5C, and many business networks from across Europe, acknowledge the urgency of the climate crisis, calling on the EU to lead the way towards decarbonisation of the global economy by 2050 at the latest.

Download the letter here

Open letter: An ambitious Renovation Wave now

Brussels, 14 September 2020

 

In December 2019, the Renovation Wave was announced as a key European initiative to support the European Green Deal. It has been made clear that decarbonising the EU’s building stock will support massive job creation and sustainable growth, driving the economic recovery from the ongoing economic and health crisis.

We have been very supportive of this flagship EU initiative since the start. This is why we now express our concern on the recently announced delay to the presentation of this vital initiative in addition to the apparent lack of dedicated EU funding for this initiative.

The foundations for an effective and ambitious Renovation Wave based on concrete actions and ‘shovel-ready’ solutions must be:

Integrated building renovations: Boosting integrated renovations for energy efficient, renewable-based and flexible buildings, to attain climate neutrality in the most cost-effective and timely manner, including the development of industrial style renovations to accelerate speed,

Energy Efficiency and Renewables First principle: in line with the Energy System Integration Strategy and the upcoming Climate Law, these principles must be applied to all aspects of building renovations, also looking at the broader energy system dimension and improving the Indoor Environmental Quality, health and wellbeing of people,

Dedicated financial flows: it is crucial to secure a dedicated financial envelope within the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and other available funding sources, to increase the rate and quality of the renovation and to support integrated building renovations that will deliver decarbonisation before 2050. Instead of an unclear allocation of resources to integrated building renovations within InvestEU, a dedicated “European Renovation Financing Facility”, financed with at least 90 billion euros per annum, would be fit for this purpose,

Structured partnership: it is key to regularly bring together Member States, regional governments, financial institutions, consumer organisations and stakeholders involved in integrated building renovations to report on progress, identify bottlenecks and remedial actions to ensure the pace of renovations remains aligned to the need for decarbonisation before 2050. An alignment with the European Climate Pact would strengthen the ownership of integrated building renovations by citizens and local communities.

The European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy recently made concrete and ambitious proposals to make the Renovation Wave a success. We now call on the other EU institutions and on EU Member States to demonstrate the same level of ambition and we are at your disposal to work with you and roll out the full potential of this initiative.

Signatories

 

Download the letter here