Unique gathering of organisations call for more ambitious climate targets

Ahead of the European Council’s discussion on the ambition level of the new 2030 climate target, a unique gathering of businesses, investor groups, local and regional authorities and NGOs published a joint letter calling on the EU leaders to agree on the most ambitious target level.

Signed by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) and other 46 organisations, representing over 2.700 cities, 330 regions, €62 trillion in investment portfolio, more than 800 companies and 330 NGOs, the joint letter clearly expresses the desire of European stakeholders to have the EU’s 2030 climate target substantially increased. Building on the recent proposal from the European Commission, the signatories hope European Member States will improve what is proposed, and in particular call for decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions to come on top of the needed strong emission reductions in other sectors.

The letter welcomes the Commission’s proposal to substantially increase the EU’s 2030 climate target and states that the Member States should agree on at least -55% while some civil society organisations supporting the letter are already calling for at least -65% emission reductions. European stakeholders encourage Member States to achieve increased climate target both by strong emission reductions as well as decisive action to remove emissions through Nature Based Solutions in line with the need to protect Europe’s biodiversity.

European cities, regions, businesses, investors, NGOs and local communities, underline that only ambitious climate action can avert the most dire future costs of climate change impacts and provide a unique societal and economic opportunity to achieve a socially just transition for all European regions.

 

Download the full letter here

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Renewable and efficiency businesses highlight priorities for increased climate ambition

Together with a large group representing Europe’s renewable and systemic energy efficiency value chains, EU-ASE sent a letter to the cabinet of European Council President Charles Michel.

The signatories strongly welcomed the increased ambition recently announced by the Commission, which builds on the key pillars supported by our associations: the combination of the energy efficiency first principle with the transition to renewable energies, with a specific emphasis on the electricity, heating & cooling, building and transport sectors.

The letter states:

“The good news is that technologies are available. However, barriers still prevent their uptake. Therefore, we need bold and urgent action from your side.”

The group highlighted four top priorities to ensure an increased climate ambition by 2030. These are:

  • The need to systematically apply the “energy efficiency first principle” as an essential enabler for decarbonisation, by reducing energy demand and costs associated with energy production, infrastructure and use.
  • The need to recognise “flexibility” as a core driver for the energy transition with dedicated measures to promote key elements such as efficient system management, energy storage, waste heat recovery and demand response technologies.
  • The need to actively facilitate customer choice towards the most cost-efficient technologies with the highest impact in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction, building on the huge potential of digitalisation with smart technologies and controls, and with measures aimed at creating a level playing field for all energy carriers.
  • The need to sustain European excellence in renewable energies and their efficient use by further paving the way for the ambitious deployment of all renewables, with measures aimed at making use of and future-proofing Europe’s energy infrastructure as well as unlocking investments into the deployment of new, innovative technologies.

 

Download the full letter here

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EU-ASE response to the Inception Impact Assessment on the 2030 Climate Target Plan

As European businesses and investors having energy efficiency and energy demand reduction at the heart of our activities, we strongly support President Ursula von der Leyen’s commitment to set the EU on a path to becoming the world’s first climate neutral continent by 2050 at the latest.

In view of this goal, we believe that the 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target must be increased from the current 40% to at least 55% because a more ambitious target will put the EU on a more gradual and sustainable pathway to climate neutrality by 2050. An increased 2030 target is also critical because it reflects the absolute urgency, underlined by the IPCC latest Special Report on the impacts of global warming, to address climate change and reduce to minimum GHG emissions in the next ten years.

A growing number of Member States are already committed to increasing their climate ambition. A target of at least 55% by 2030 at the EU level is also feasible from both technical and economic point of view and, according to the European Commission’s own analysis, it is likely to lead to a net increase in GDP of 2%, a surge in employment and a reduction in costs linked to fossil fuel imports and health damages.

We believe that increasing the 2030 GHG target to at least 55% requires a comprehensive assessment which will consider the impact of such policy decision both in terms of direct benefits (e.g. employment, reduced energy costs and import dependency, competitiveness) as well as avoided costs (e.g. environmental damages, health costs, fossil fuel subsidies). We are also convinced that such assessment should be based on the analysis of the European energy infrastructure needs and must fully apply the energy efficiency first principle to prevent lock-in into carbon-intensive future pathways.

 

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10 priorities for transformative policies under the European Green Deal

The European Green Deal Communication acknowledges that in the effort to reduce GHG emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency must be prioritised. At EUASE, we have set out 10 priorities to make sure that the policies under the EGD fully apply the Energy Efficiency First principle.

On December 11, the European Commission presented an outline of its European Green Deal.  According to the proposed timeline, the increase of the EU 2030 climate target – the flagship initiative of the package – will be presented by summer 2020. This timeline will require Member States to agree on a much higher 2030 target at the European Council in June 2020, which will be key to enable the EU to lead the way towards bold climate ambition internationally.

The EGD Communication acknowledges that in the effort to reduce GHG emissions and achieve climate neutrality by 2050, energy efficiency must be prioritised, however the Communication lacks a specific reference to the Energy Efficiency First principle and the commitment to increase the 2030 energy efficiency target.

Here are our 10 priorities to make sure that the policies under the European Green Deal fully apply this principle:

  1. Accelerate the implementation of the Clean Energy Package by strengthening
    and facilitating monitoring, evaluation and exchange of good practices
  2. Reopen the Clean Energy Package in order to align it with increased ambition
    by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050
  3. Apply the energy efficiency first principle to all energy planning and
    investments
  4. Lead by example ensuring that 100% of public (central, regional and local)
    buildings are nearly-zero energy (NZEB) by 2030
  5. Boost the renovation of existing residential and commercial buildings and
    mobilize resources to eradicate energy poverty
  6. Fully exploit water-energy nexus and introduce energy performance
    objectives in all current and future water policies and regulations
  7. Prioritize finance for energy efficiency in all EU funding programmes post
    2020 and improve access to technical assistance
  8. Remove all existing barriers to the full functioning of energy performance
    contracting
  9. Raise awareness about the multiple economic, social and environmental
    benefits of energy efficiency for citizens, cities and businesses
  10. Promote digitalization as a driver of greater efficiency

To read the full publication click on the link below.

EU-ASE at the Informal Energy Council

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.

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