EU Council fails to adopt commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050

“The future ahead of us is a transition towards a climate neutral economy. Yesterday, the European Council missed the opportunity to sign off an EU climate neutrality commitment by 2050 despite a large majority of 24 Member States now backing net-zero emissions by 2050. We should build on this group of progressive countries and convince the remaining Member States that the transition is the best economic choice for Europe, whereas the cost of inaction would be unbearably high. Moving forward, we must link the climate neutrality commitment more closely to the EU budget discussion, so that we prioritize investments in energy efficiency to halve the demand of energy in the EU by 2050, and move towards 100% renewable energy generation. The EU budget is the most suitable collective tool to make this long-term transformation happen. In a just and ordered transition that leaves no-one behind in the shift to a zero-emission society, EU public resources will attract the necessary private investments to make the European economy more innovative and competitive.”

 

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

Large Group of European Stakeholders Calls for Immediate Action in Face of Climate Emergency

In an unprecedented Climate Action Call published today, a broad and diverse coalition representing hundreds of cities, businesses, investors, scientists, faith groups and civil society organisations, including climate, human rights, litigation, citizens’ mobilization and sports groups urge European leaders to take decisive action to respond to the climate emergency and profoundly alter the way we run our societies and economies to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C
 
The Climate Action Call comes prior to the EU Heads of State and Government debate on the Future of Europe at the Sibiu summit on 9 May, and the European elections between 23 and 26 May. Climate change is expected to be a central issue in both the Future of Europe and elections debates, as it has climbed up on the priority list of European citizens, with hundreds of thousands of people taking to the streets to demand stronger action from politicians.
 
Signatories of the Climate Action Call believe that to respond to the public mobilization, current EU leaders and candidates in the elections need to publicly commit to make climate action a top priority for Europe during both the Future of Europe and elections debates. The Climate Action Call spells out five specific steps the new European Parliament, the new European Commission and all EU Member State governments need to take to act on climate change:
 

1. Commit to accelerate actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and reach net zero emissions as soon as possible.

2. Plan the end of the use of fossil fuels and provide strong support to energy efficiency, renewable energy and emission cuts outside the energy sector.

3. Safeguard a just and fair transition and ensure that the EU increases its support to developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

4. Increase efforts to roll out the circular economy and increase resource efficiency.

5. Recognise biodiversity protection and ecosystem restoration as a crucial component of climate action.

 
The signatories include some of Europe’s largest city networks, most influential business groups, leading investors organisations , well-known European research institutes, and largest European NGO coalition on climate and energy.

EU-ASE is female! Happy International Women’s Day 2019

According to a study carried out by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), it is projected that by 2050 there will be around 40 million jobs directly related to renewable energy and energye fficiency worldwide. Women comprise half the world’s population and half of the workforce, hence their full inclusion is vital to ensuring that the new energy economy is based on the largest pool of talent, knowledge and skills.

On 8 March 2019, International Women’s Day, EU-ASE wants to celebrate the powerful, capable women that make sure every day that the energy efficiency voice is heard across all sectors of the European Union. We want to recognise them, their achievements and their leadership. And to remind the energy community that, without their work, progressive climate and energy advancements would not be possible.

 

“There’s no talking about future without progressive climate policies, same as there’s no talking about future without women.”

Monica Frassoni, EU-ASE President

Happy International Women’s Day!

Top executives call on Energy Ministers to resist proposals lowering ambition in key revisions of energy efficiency directives

Valletta, 18 May 2017 — At the Informal Energy Council in Malta today, top executives of leading companies urged EU Energy Ministers to increase ambition on energy efficiency. Member States are currently discussing the European Commission’s proposals for a Clean Energy Package, which includes proposals for a binding EU energy efficiency target.

At the opening session of the meeting, business representatives from the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) urged Energy Ministers to keep the binding nature of the EU energy efficiency target for 2030, increase the level of ambition towards a 40% energy efficiency target and underpin it by dedicated policies and measures, without which an optimal framework for enhanced energy efficiency cannot be created. They also expressed concern on the recent proposals aiming at further weakening binding provisions aimed at achieving 1,5% saving annually among end-users (art.7), which would have very important consequences in terms of increased gas imports and costs for households.

While presenting cost-effective investments in energy efficiency, senior business representatives from Danfoss, Knauf Insulation, Philips Lighting and Schneider Electric emphasised to Energy Ministers that the current revisions of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), both of which are included in the package, offer a unique opportunity to create a unique framework to drive economic market growth and job creation in the European Union. Energy Ministers were urged to carefully assess the social, political, economic and environmental potentials of key provisions in the directives under review.

Ahead of his speech, Harry Verhaar, Chairman of the EU-ASE Board and Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting, said: “Our message is straightforward. There is no technology gap. There is no lack of services. There are business models that already exist to make cost-effective investments in energy efficiency, but many of these businesses are still waiting on the sidelines. If Europe is serious about reducing energy demand and creating a market for innovative solutions and services, then it needs to get serious about its commitment. And that means an ambitious EU binding target and dedicated policies. Existing buildings have a major potential: 75% of them are energy inefficient, they are the largest energy consumer, absorbing 40% of final energy, and currently only 0.4–1.2% of the stock is renovated each year. Both EED and EPBD can change the status quo if there is a strong political will.” 

On behalf of Danfoss, Ernesto Ubieto, President of the South European Region, said: “The EPBD revision presents a unique opportunity to reap the enormous energy savings potential that lies in the control of energy flows inside buildings. A recent study released by Ecofys shows that the final energy demand of buildings can be reduced by 30% by optimising technical building systems, with short pay back times. We urge policy makers to have the political courage needed to address current market failures.

Jure Šumi, Business Development Director Green Solutions, Knauf Insulation said: “There are so many measures that homeowners and businesses can take to save energy and reduce their environmental footprint. One of the most effective and interesting ways of doing this is through green roofs. Because roofs are the sites of the greatest building heat loss in winter and the hottest temperatures in summer, green roofs help to keep in heat and keep out cold. They have many other benefits, too, including noise reduction, improved storm water management and improved air quality in cities. They also look fantastic.

Business representatives also backed introductory remarks by the European Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, who defended the vision, ambition and coherence of the Commission’s proposals on EED and EPBD revisions presented on 30 November 2016.

The Informal High-Level Meeting on Energy Efficiency in the Mediterranean is taking place in the Grand Master’s Palace, Valletta (Malta) on 18 and 19 May. This two-day meeting gathers Energy Ministers and their delegations from the 43 States of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), i.e. EU28, North Africa and Mediterranean Middle East. It is co-organised by the European Commission (DG ENER and EEAS), the UfM, the Maltese EU Presidency and the Kingdom of Jordan.

Earlier this year, EU-ASE members issued a Position Paper with their views on the Clean Energy for All Europeans package and specific policy recommendations on the EED and EPBD.

French multinational corporation SAINT-GOBAIN joins the European Alliance to Save Energy

BRUSSELS – The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) announced today that the French group SAINT-GOBAIN has joined the ten current industrial members of the Alliance.

“We welcome SAINT-GOBAIN, and we look forward to working with them” said Harry Verhaar, Chairman of the EU-ASE Board and Head of Global Public & Government Affairs at Philips Lighting. “SAINT-GOBAIN is a major industrial player and will strengthen our collective business voice and efforts to showcase energy efficiency as a solid business opportunity for Europe. Businesses need a clear and well-implemented regulatory framework to invest in Europe. The forthcoming review of major European Directives such as the EED and the EPBD is an opportunity to move in this direction.”