Over the last months, the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the vulnerabilities of our economic, social and health systems. As national recovery plans will inject an unprecedented amount of finance into the economy, the priority should be clear: we must increase resilience in our society, modernise the economy and change the energy system to make it more sustainable and progressively carbon-free. Energy efficiency plays a key role in this, for a number of reasons.

First, energy savings are paramount for climate mitigation and emissions reduction. Second, energy efficiency is a powerful job creation factor and its value chain is deeply European. Last but not least investing in energy efficiency also means investing in European innovation, especially when it comes to the building sector.

From a legislative point of view, the next months will be crucial to advance energy efficiency with clear and ambitious policies. The Renovation Wave, published last October, started a process that intends to achieve a highly efficient and decarbonised building stock. This can be done mainly through the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive, with the ambition to increase the renovation rates to the needed 3% per year and the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the operationalisation of the “Energy Efficiency First” principle.

The EU decision makers’ agreement on the Climate Law and on the intermediate 55% emission reduction by 2030 set Europe on the path towards climate neutrality by 2050. It is the right path to stimulate investments and energy efficiency can greatly support this effort.

Harry Verhaar
Chair of the Board of Directors
European Alliance to Save Energy

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