Broad coalition calls on EU not to rely on hydrogen to decarbonise buildings

33 businesses, industry associations, NGOs, and think tanks joined forces to urge the European Commission to prioritise available efficient and sustainable solutions to decarbonise Europe’s building stock, and avoid the direct use of hydrogen.

Addressing EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans in an open letter, the co-signatories underline that to achieve a higher 2030 EU climate target, massive emissions reductions in the building sector will be needed (<60% compared to 2015). This requires applying the energy efficiency first principle and boost the integration of renewables, as envisaged by the Renovation Wave strategy.

While it is true that renewable hydrogen can play a role in decarbonising hard-to-abate sectors, its direct use for heating on a large scale is problematic because it comes with many uncertainties linked to the scalability, costs of its production and inefficiencies, the letter says.

To optimise the process of heat decarbonisation in the medium and long-term, the EU should favour energy efficiency options as they can immediately deliver real carbon savings, while accommodating a growing share of renewable sources.

The co-signatories call on the Commission not to overestimate the potential of “zero-emission gas”, which would be mostly imported from abroad. Doing that would constrain EU taxpayers to fund unnecessary infrastructures, such as gas pipelines (or their upgrade), diverting financial resources from immediately applicable and more sustainable heat decarbonisation solutions.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), said:
“To achieve higher emission reductions by 2030, the EU must act fast to decarbonise buildings as one of the most energy consuming and polluting sectors. To make this happen, we need to prioritise energy efficiency and renewables, while using hydrogen to decarbonise harder-to-abate sectors, like chemicals and steel.”

 

Read the full letter here

 

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) aims to ensure that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across the European Union. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

Media contact
Matteo Guidi
matteo.guidi@euase.eu
+32 493 37 21 42

Open letter: EU Taxonomy to deliver economic recovery, resilience and sustainability

In response to the European Commission’s consultation on the draft delegated acts for the EU Taxonomy Regulation, EU-ASE has addressed in an open letter the Commission Vice-Presidents Frans Timmermans and Valdis Dombrovskis.

EU-ASE calls on the European Commission to ensure that the taxonomy will play a key role in aligning public and private investments to deliver economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as resilience and long-term sustainability.

To achieve this goal, we believe that the EU Taxonomy should be developed to exclusively promote investments which help us to address the economic, health, environmental and social consequences of climate changes, especially on the young and future generations.

Moreover, the technical screening criteria should systematically factor energy efficiency considerations in the qualification of sustainable activities. This approach should encompass a broad range of economic activities including buildings’ construction, renovation and management, all products manufacturing, and services, in particular energy services.

 

Read the full letter here

EU-ASE at Next Generation Brescia (Italy)

On 15 December 2020 EU-ASE co-hosted Next Generation Brescia, an online event to discuss the opportunity to boost green economic recovery at local level in the framework of Next Generation EU and the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan.

EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni moderated the first part of the event, which focused on European and national guidelines for the Italian recovery and resilience plan. The session featured high-level speakers from the European Commission and the Italian government, including Antonio Misiani, Vice-Minister of Economy and Finance, and Marco Buti, Head of cabinet of EU Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni.

 

The recording of the webinar is available here (in Italian)
Read the article about the event (in Italian)

 

Fostering a green recovery with energy efficiency at its core – 2020 in review

The Activity Report 2020 contains an overview of the activities carried out by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) throughout the year. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 global pandemic, EU-ASE successfully contributed to boosting energy efficiency in EU legislation. We did so while underlining energy efficiency’s paramount role to achieve sustainable economic recovery across Europe.

EU-ASE remains the most influential business led organisation on energy efficiency in Brussels. The Alliance’s active participation in debates and high-level conferences happening at national, European and international level has been remarkable.

 

Read the full report

EU-ASE at How Can We Govern Europe? (Italy)

On 3 December 2020 EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni participated in the 7th edition of How can we govern Europe?, the annual conference hosted by the Italian EU affairs media Eunews. This years’ edition was held as an online discussion.

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni discussed how to advance energy efficiency as a key tool to achieve climate neutrality both at European and national level, as well as how Italy can boost a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic through its Recovery and Resiliency Plan.

Speakers included representatives of the Italian government, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

 

The recording of the webinar is available here (in Italian)