Coalition for Higher Ambition Rallies Broad Support for a Science-Based 2040 Climate Target

Today, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE), as a part of the Coalition for higher Ambition (HAC), co-signed a letter addressed to the Presidents of the three main institutions of the EU and Ministers of the Belgian Presidency. The letter calls for the proposal of a EU 2040 climate target of at least 90% net emission reductions, compared to 1990 levels, aligning with the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change’s (ESABCC) advice to achieve a net emission reduction of 90% to 95% by 2040.

Current plans from countries to reduce emissions mark an alarming global ambition gap 2 to meet the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement, and all Parties need to step up their efforts, in view of their respective historical responsibility in causing the climate crisis and their capacity to act upon it. The outcome of COP28 signals that the direction of travel is moving away from fossil fuels; it is now up to countries to translate this commitment into national targets and measures aligned with science that deliver on the 1.5°C temperature goal in an equitable manner.

“The diversity, size and collective expertise of the coalition calling for a science-based target is telling,” says Chiara Martinelli, Director, CAN Europe. “High ambition now can bring about a green and just transformation across sectors – resulting in job creation, economic opportunities, improved public health, poverty reduction, social protections, natural resource preservation and energy security, well before 2040”.

Monica Frassoni, President of EU-ASE, states:
‘As the champions of the energy efficiency ecosystem, we fully support the call for a more ambitious EU emission reduction goal. Urging the Commission to keep up its ambition, we echo the advice of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change to reduce emissions by 90% by 2040. Let’s infuse every corner of industry with the ‘Energy Efficiency First’ vibe – it’s the EU’s time to make a splash!’

Read the full letter here.

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EU-ASE signs joint statement on the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) has co-signed a letter urging the EU institutions to adopt an ambitious Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive (UWWTD)! The UWWTD, after three decades of dormancy, makes a step towards a collective commitment to a sustainable and resilient future.

We call the policy-makers upon for:

  • Ensuring coherent rules across the EU without exemptions for selected Member States or regions, avoiding further delays for coastal regions;
  • Maintaining 100,000 p.e. as the threshold for intermediary targets for tertiary and quaternary treatment and ensure that quaternary treatment is installed by 2035;
  • Ensuring a timely introduction of integrated urban wastewater management plans that prioritise green and blue infrastructure to climate-proof cities and reduce pollution from urban wastewaters and runoffs;
  • Setting up an obligation to communicate in real time any information on the risk of pollution that could have an impact on aquaculture farmers, drinking water suppliers and other legitimate users;
  • Establish an obligation to make publicly available the Integrated Urban Wastewater Management Plans and the results of the risk assessments;
  • A return to the Commission’s proposal (as amended by the EP and Council) that the wastewater sector produces renewable energy on or offsite, to be consumed on or offsite that cover by 2040 100% of this sector’s energy consumption, to ensure that the EU reaches climateneutrality by 2050;
  • The new Directive must be a signal and a tool to implement the circular economy for water,
    energy and materials throughout EU territories.

In collaboration with 18 organisations, we call for an ambitious agreement on UWWTD during the upcoming trilogue meeting on 29 January!

 

Read the full letter here.

 

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IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2023 Report Seminar (EU-ASE & IEA event)

On Thursday, 14 December 2023, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) alongside the International Energy Agency (IEA) hosted an event presenting the IEA’s Energy Efficiency 2023 report. 

Energy Efficiency 2023 serves as the IEA’s primary annual analysis on global developments in energy efficiency markets and policy. The report explores recent trends in energy intensity, demand, and efficiency-related investment, encompassing policy and technology aspects.

This is the tenth edition, and it includes new highlights, mostly focusing on key issues facing policymakers. Notably, the report outlines the proposed global target to double energy efficiency progress and articulates the potential gains from achieving this target.

Amidst the ongoing energy and climate crises, 2023’s global energy efficiency progress, as measured by primary energy intensity, is expected to be slightly below the long-term trend, signaling a slowdown from 2022. Despite this, the report highlights a deep transformation in energy efficiency and clean energy. Governments globally are introducing or reinforcing policies and energy-saving programs, leading to the faster deployment of efficient technologies. These efforts contribute to the expected peaking of fossil fuel demand in the coming years.

Read the full report here. 

Watch the full seminar right here or on the EU-ASE YouTube channel.

 

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System efficiency in 2024: Three priorities for the next EU Commission

System efficiency is a key metric to evaluate how far the European Green Deal has taken us in the energy transition.  

Why system efficiency and what is it?  System efficiency is the measure of how well a system utilizes resources to achieve its desired output with minimal waste. In this context, it refers to the systematic application of the Energy Efficiency First (EE1) principle. This means that examining system efficiency provides a way to assess the broad socio-economic advantages linked to measures improving energy efficiency. 

To maximize efficiency, we need to accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings, ensure that future energy networks are designed to electrify most of the economy, while strategically focusing on using hydrogen in hard-to-electrify applications as gas networks are decommissioned due to declining fossil gas demand. 

The recent agreement on the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) only requires minimal obligations for Member States, leaves flexibility for fossil fuel technologies, and avoids banning certain heating technologies in buildings. 

Despite positive steps such as establishing the European Network of Network Operators of Hydrogen (ENNOH) to counter fossil gas industry influence, challenges remain in the gas package directive, which applies hydrogen unbundling rules only to Transmission System Operators (TSOs), leaving Distribution System Operators (DSOs) exempt and potentially leading to costly hydrogen investments at the local level. 

Considering the above, the next EU Commission can improve overall energy system efficiency by following three priorities: 

  1. Making energy efficiency an energy security priority through a new task force that focuses on leveraging energy efficiency progress and demand flexibility as an active lever towards European energy security. 
  2. Making local delivery institutions fit for delivering energy efficiency, providing increased support for municipalities and regional governments and setting targets for system transformation. 
  3. Enhancing system efficiency in gas networks by establishing a framework for decommissioning obsolete fossil infrastructure and strategically designing hydrogen networks for areas where no other decarbonisation option exists. 

Raphael Hanoteaux
Senior Policy Advisor
E3G

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EU-ASE President Monica Frassoni’s message ahead of the upcoming negotiations at #COP28

EU-ASE President Monica Frassoni speaks ahead of the upcoming negotiations at COP 28, beginning today, 30 November, running until 12 December 2023  in United Arab Emirates.

COP28 UAE will be a milestone moment when the world will take stock of its progress on the Paris Agreement. The first Global Stocktake (GST) will provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement. This will help align the efforts on climate action, including measures that need to be put in place to bridge the gaps in progress.

EU-ASE President Monica Frassoni speaks ahead of these upcoming negotiations, emphasizing highlights the need to double  energy efficiency and phase out fossil fuels:

“The EU has been in the forefront of the climate race and now we see that a mixture of political fatigue and a regaining of space of eco-skeptical narrative risks hampering the major business and social opportunity that an effective and just transition can bring.”

EU-ASE and its members will continue to give a positive contribution to the completion and full implementation of the Green Deal and notably of the Energy Efficiency Directive and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

COP28, opening today in Dubai, is the right place to take actions towards a sustainable future!

Watch the full video here

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