At EU Green Deal conference Monica Frassoni highlights importance of energy efficiency to decarbonize Europe

Speech by Monica Frassoni at the High-level public conference on implementing the European Green Deal and Climate Law – Brussels, Tuesday 28 January 2020

The production and use of energy across economic sectors account for more than 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency (EE) must be prioritised. If we all want to go towards electrification, digitalisation and all the necessary elements that a successful and just transition entails, we need to cut radically our energy demand, by half by 2050 in comparison to 2005, says the Commission.

In other words, we need to fully implement EE FIRST in the decision making and planning of EU energy infrastructure including facilities for generation, transmission, distribution and end-use consumption. This should be addressed in the review of TEN-E, PCI list and in the design of the EU decarbonization package.

We are not yet there I am afraid. EE is still the Cinderella of the energy debate.

Considering the little time we have ahead of us to fully decarbonize and decouple growth from energy consumption, it strikes me how much more attractive seem to be to run incredible risks like investing billions in tax-payers money in not yet fully working technologies like trying to “recycle” gas infrastructures or to capture CO2, instead than rushing to make our houses more comfortable and smart or our industries and transport systems less dependent on the moods of foreign leaders.

Technologies are there, numbers are clear. The building sector impacts 20 million jobs and 92% of companies are SMEs. According to the EC Impact Assessment, for every 1% extra energy savings by 2030:  EU gas imports fall by 4%, GHG emissions decrease by 0.7%, Employment increases by 336,000 jobs. How many other sectors have a better business case in terms of job creation?

Let’s face it. If we need to be fully decarbonized by 2050 or earlier, all public efforts must go to energy efficiency and renewables. And no public money should go to activities that go against this landmark objective. Climate law should be very clear to help us avoid doing like Penelope, who undid in the night what she wove in the day.

Energy efficiency in new EU Commission proposals on Green Deal Investment Plan and Just Transition Fund good first step towards greater ambition

Statement

Brussels (14 Jan 2020) – Today, the European Commission unveiled its communication on the European Green Deal Investment Plan (EGDIP) and its proposal for a regulation establishing a Just Transition Fund (JTF), which is part of a broader Just Transition Mechanism (JTM). The two tools are part of a package aimed to finance the EU’s bid to become climate neutral by 2050, while supporting coal-dependent regions to take the necessary steps to transition towards a decarbonized economy.

“We welcome these initiatives, which come at a crucial moment in Europe’s decarbonization process”said Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE). “As one of the main cross-sectorial business associations in Europe advocating for energy efficiency, we are pleased to see that in both the European Green Deal Investment Plan and the Just Transition Fund there is a clear reference to energy efficiency. We also welcome the proposal to revise State Aid rules to give Member States more scope to invest in the energy efficiency of buildings.”

“With regards to the JTF, we expect it to be financed with fresh, additional resources whose access should be conditioned to serious commitments towards climate neutrality by the beneficiary countries.”

“We will follow with keen interest the debate around these proposals – Monica Frassoni concluded – and we look forward to providing our input to make energy efficiency’s role even more prominent, in line with the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle. This with the aim to make full advantage of the economic, environmental and social benefits that energy efficiency can bring to citizens and businesses.”

 
 
 
 

European Green Deal requires energy efficiency first to set new course for economic growth, climate protection and social inclusion

Today, the European Commission unveiled its European Green Deal to address European and global concerns about the devastating effects of climate change.
The communication acknowledges that in the effort to reduce GHG emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency must be prioritised.
This is good newssaid Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energythe reduction of energy consumption is the first indispensable step to drive the energy transition towards renewable supply and contribute to emission reductions. The timing of Green Deal is perfectly aligned with the European Parliament declaration of a climate emergency as well as an unprecedented climate mobilization of young people and citizens from across the globe”.
The Communication lacks a specific reference to the Energy Efficiency First principle and the commitment to increase the 2030 energy efficiency target. “We believe that efficiency first must be absolutely central to the European energy system and should guide all future energy planning and investments. We look forward – concluded Monica Frassoni – to working with the Commission services to underline the social, economic and environmental benefits of systematically apply the Energy Efficiency First principle across the energy value chain”.

Energy efficiency and renewable energy stakeholders point out integrated buildings renovation plan as key to deliver a successful European Green Deal

We are at a defining moment and at the beginning of the decade of climate action, the European Green Deal must be a key driver towards increased ambition by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. In this perspective, we believe that increased legally binding energy efficiency and renewables targets and measures would mutually reinforce each other and deliver the GHG emissions reductions urgently required to meet the Paris Agreement objectives.
We are delighted to join forces with industry, civil society, cities, professionals, and workers. In the months to come, we look forward to work with the European Institutions to operationalize the energy efficiency first principle in every energy infrastructure investment decision and launch an integrated renovation plan to make all European homes highly efficient, smart and powered with renewable sources”

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

Businesses welcome new EIB Energy Lending Policy

We think that the postponement of one year of the phasing out of investments in fossil fuel energy projects is a long time, because the risk to lock in investments in infrastructures that are not compliant with the Paris Agreement is still there. Now it is up to industry, local authorities and civil society organisations promote energy efficiency projects and demonstrate they are a viable and more profitable options than fossil fuels projects. 

We are committed  to work with the EIB and help delivering the 2030 energy efficiency target. The Building Renovation Initiative is a very good opportunity to cooperate in an area with high energy efficiency potential. We must work together and promote projects aggregation, targeted financial support, new business model and technical assistance, in order to increase the annual building renovation rate to 3%.

 

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