Europe needs a dedicated water strategy to tackle water scarcity while saving energy and reducing emissions

The next EU institutional framework must work on a European Water Strategy – a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity, focusing on the synergies between water & energy use: the Water-Energy Nexus. 

Water scarcity is a growing concern in Europe, driven by climate change, population growth, urbanization, and inefficient water management practices. To combat this crisis effectively, an integrated approach is essential, leveraging the water-energy nexus to optimize water supply, treatment and use, while promoting energy savings, emission reductions and overall sustainability.

The next European institution framework must work on a European Water Strategy, a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity focusing on the synergies between water and energy use.

To do so, for the next institutional term 2024-2029, the European Alliance to Save Energy urges policymakers to:

  • Complete and strengthen the EU and national policy and regulatory framework
  • Facilitate public-private partnerships
  • Provide finance for innovation, research and implementation
  • Forge responsibility to instigate change

 

Read the full European Water Strategy document here.

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Enhancing EU security & resilience via energy efficiency: 2023 in review

The EU-ASE 2023 Activity Report delves into the advocacy and outreach efforts of the European Alliance to Save Energy, aimed at enhancing energy efficiency in the EU’s energy policies and integrating the water-energy nexus into mainstream considerations.

2023 can be viewed as a continuation of the previous one, marked by escalating geopolitical issues and an energy crisis. Throughout the year, EU-ASE actively implemented its workplan by significantly contributing to energy efficiency debates and participating in ongoing negotiations on legislative dossiers. 

We also organized the second edition of the European Energy Efficiency Day, bringing together high-profile speakers who contributed to discussions on energy efficiency in buildings, industrial ecosystems, and the electricity market. The event also delved into the skills agenda within the sector.

We continued our work on the implementation of a work programme which was structured around the main objectives of:

  • Boosting energy efficiency through EU policy and regulatory framework
  • Unleashing the energy savings potential of water efficiency in EU legislation
  • Smart, digital, and effective communication to achieve advocacy objectives

Read the full report here.  

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Coalition for Higher Ambition Rallies Broad Support for a Science-Based 2040 Climate Target

Today, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), as a part of the Coalition for higher Ambition (HAC), co-signed a letter addressed to the Presidents of the three main institutions of the EU and Ministers of the Belgian Presidency. The letter calls for the proposal of a EU 2040 climate target of at least 90% net emission reductions, compared to 1990 levels, aligning with the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change’s (ESABCC) advice to achieve a net emission reduction of 90% to 95% by 2040.

Current plans from countries to reduce emissions mark an alarming global ambition gap 2 to meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, and all Parties need to step up their efforts, in view of their respective historical responsibility in causing the climate crisis and their capacity to act upon it. The outcome of COP28 signals that the direction of travel is moving away from fossil fuels; it is now up to countries to translate this commitment into national targets and measures aligned with science that deliver on the 1.5°C temperature goal in an equitable manner.

“The diversity, size and collective expertise of the coalition calling for a science-based target is telling,” says Chiara Martinelli, Director, CAN Europe. “High ambition now can bring about a green and just transformation across sectors – resulting in job creation, economic opportunities, improved public health, poverty reduction, social protections, natural resource preservation and energy security, well before 2040”.

Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE, states:
‘As the champions of the energy efficiency ecosystem, we fully support the call for a more ambitious EU emission reduction goal. Urging the Commission to keep up its ambition, we echo the advice of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change to reduce emissions by 90% by 2040. Let’s infuse every corner of industry with the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ vibe – it’s the EU’s time to make a splash!’

Read the full letter here.

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EU-ASE signs joint statement on the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) has co-signed a letter urging the EU institutions to adopt an ambitious Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD)! The UWWTD, after three decades of dormancy, makes a step towards a collective commitment to a sustainable and resilient future.

We call the policy-makers upon for:

  • Ensuring coherent rules across the EU without exemptions for selected Member States or regions, avoiding further delays for coastal regions;
  • Maintaining 100,000 p.e. as the threshold for intermediary targets for tertiary and quaternary treatment and ensure that quaternary treatment is installed by 2035;
  • Ensuring a timely introduction of integrated urban wastewater management plans that prioritise green and blue infrastructure to climate-proof cities and reduce pollution from urban wastewaters and runoffs;
  • Setting up an obligation to communicate in real time any information on the risk of pollution that could have an impact on aquaculture farmers, drinking water suppliers and other legitimate users;
  • Establish an obligation to make publicly available the Integrated Urban Wastewater Management Plans and the results of the risk assessments;
  • A return to the Commission’s proposal (as amended by the EP and Council) that the wastewater sector produces renewable energy on or offsite, to be consumed on or offsite that cover by 2040 100% of this sector’s energy consumption, to ensure that the EU reaches climateneutrality by 2050;
  • The new Directive must be a signal and a tool to implement the circular economy for water,
    energy and materials throughout EU territories.

In collaboration with 18 organisations, we call for an ambitious agreement on UWWTD during the upcoming trilogue meeting on 29 January!

 

Read the full letter here.

 

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IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2023 Report Seminar (EU-ASE & IEA event)

On Thursday, 14 December 2023, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) alongside the International Energy Agency (IEA) hosted an event presenting the IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2023 report. 

Energy Efficiency 2023 serves as the IEA’s primary annual analysis on global developments in energy efficiency markets and policy. The report explores recent trends in energy intensity, demand, and efficiency-related investment, encompassing policy and technology aspects.

This is the tenth edition, and it includes new highlights, mostly focusing on key issues facing policymakers. Notably, the report outlines the proposed global target to double energy efficiency progress and articulates the potential gains from achieving this target.

Amidst the ongoing energy and climate crises, 2023’s global energy efficiency progress, as measured by primary energy intensity, is expected to be slightly below the long-term trend, signaling a slowdown from 2022. Despite this, the report highlights a deep transformation in energy efficiency and clean energy. Governments globally are introducing or reinforcing policies and energy-saving programs, leading to the faster deployment of efficient technologies. These efforts contribute to the expected peaking of fossil fuel demand in the coming years.

Read the full report here. 

Watch the full seminar right here or on the EU-ASE YouTube channel.

 

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