Europe needs a dedicated water strategy to tackle water scarcity while saving energy and reducing emissions

The next EU institutional framework must work on a European Water Strategy – a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity, focusing on the synergies between water & energy use: the Water-Energy Nexus. 

Water scarcity is a growing concern in Europe, driven by climate change, population growth, urbanization, and inefficient water management practices. To combat this crisis effectively, an integrated approach is essential, leveraging the water-energy nexus to optimize water supply, treatment and use, while promoting energy savings, emission reductions and overall sustainability.

The next European institution framework must work on a European Water Strategy, a comprehensive, integrated response to tackle water scarcity focusing on the synergies between water and energy use.

To do so, for the next institutional term 2024-2029, the European Alliance to Save Energy urges policymakers to:

  • Complete and strengthen the EU and national policy and regulatory framework
  • Facilitate public-private partnerships
  • Provide finance for innovation, research and implementation
  • Forge responsibility to instigate change

 

Read the full European Water Strategy document here.

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EU-ASE welcomes agreement on EPBD despite its weakened ambition

Today, two years after its initial announcement, co-legislators have reached an agreement on the revision of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD), a key piece of the Fit For 55 Package.  The political agreement on the EPBD is weaker than what is necessary to fully deliver Europe’s energy security and sustainable economic growth in the building sector. If approved and fully implemented via strong governance and a financial support framework it will still represent an important step for EU just transition.

We welcome the developments marking a pivotal step towards upgrading the efficiency of the buildings sector such as the further integration of digitalization within the EPBD. Embracing existing digital tools is essential for assessing and unlocking the full potential of actual energy performance in buildings. The reinforced provisions for technical building systems (TBS), including heating, built-in lighting, and building automation and control systems, are crucial in raising the energy efficiency level of our buildings.

Regrettably, the agreement on the EPBD misses out on setting an ambitious framework, as proposed by the European Commission and further improved by the European Parliament. The original proposal for Minimum Energy Performance Standards (MEPS), one of the main pillar of the EPBD, offered a powerful path to achieve higher energy classes for worst-performing buildings while harmonizing Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) among Member States. MEPS, as it stands in the political agreement reached today, leaves too much flexibility for Member States to achieve respectively 16% and 20-22% primary energy reduction targets of the overall energy consumption of the building stock by 2030 and 2035. This is a first step towards gradually scaling up the efforts for the entire building stock. A careful monitoring and guidance of the implementation of this centrepiece of the EBPD will be required to deliver the desired objectives. 

Another missed opportunity for the Union`s decarbonization efforts is delaying the phase out of fossil fuels in heating and cooling in buildings. The European Parliament`s step forward to end the use of fossil fuels in heating and cooling in buildings by 2035 was watered down and pushed back to 2040. Without a timely phase-out of fossil fuel boilers in buildings, the EU cannot achieve its 2050 goals. Member States and the EU are currently negotiating intensely to ensure that at COP28 there is a precise commitment to phase out fossil fuels. They need to be consistent with this commitment in EU legislation.

Despite the complexity to converge towards a more ambitious agreement, if correctly and swiftly implemented, the EPBD is capable of improving living conditions, reducing buildings` energy needs, saving billions of euros in energy costs enhancing the EU’s energy security, and boosting sustainable economic growth in the EU.

Monica Frassoni, President of the European Alliance to Save Energy, commenting on the political agreement, said: Even if the directive includes several positive provisions to improve the energy performance of the highly inefficient European building stock and the ultimate goal remains the full decarbonisation of EU buildings by 2050, we regret that minimum energy performance standards have been seriously weakened. The large flexibility and derogations conceded to governments could have been coupled with higher ambition, especially for residential buildings. If the building sector is not fully decarbonized in accordance with a clear plan and sufficient resources by 2050 it would be deleterious for citizens – especially those struggling with energy poverty – and for businesses for which the modernization of the building stock is a unique opportunity for new sustainable economic activities and job creation”.

The political agreement will need to be formalized in the next months. We count on co-legislators’ responsibility for this important final step. After, we must roll up our sleeves, walk the talk and turn our attention to deliver the full EPBD potential through robust institutional governance and private public-partnerships aimed to boost skills development, technological advances and work out innovative financing schemes. The EPBD can instigate renovations across Europe, all stakeholders will have to work together to push up the bar and increase the depth and rate of these renovations, make them cost-effective and valuable for citizens, businesses and the environment” said Quentin Galland, Chair of the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE).

Read the full press release here.

Media contact:
Luigi Petito 
Head of Secretariat 
info@euase.eu 

About us
The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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Owens Corning, a global building and construction materials leader, joins European Alliance to Save Energy

Owens Corning has a long history of developing innovative, energy-saving solutions, and collaborating with a broad range of stakeholders to drive excellence and best practices in the field of material innovation and energy efficiency.

Federica Rizzo, Regulatory and Sustainability Senior Counsel European Region at Owens Corning commented: “Owens Corning is honored to join the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE). This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen our partnerships with key stakeholders and continue to build a sustainable future through material innovation. We are committed to the European Green Deal objectives and will continue to share best practices and knowledge across industries on key sustainability topics, such as energy efficiency, sustainability, and digitalization, while contributing to the green transition in Europe.” 

Click to download the full PR in PDF format.

Media contact: Luigi Petito 
Head of Secretariat 
info@euase.eu 

About us The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) is a cross-sectoral, business-led organisation that ensures that the voice of energy efficiency is heard across Europe. EU-ASE members have operations across the 27 Member States of the European Union, employ over 340.000 people in Europe and have an aggregated annual turnover of €115 billion.

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EU-ASE Feedback to the 2040 Climate Target Consultation

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback to the European Commission`s public consultation on the 2040 climate targets. 

We support a binding EU-wide climate target for 2040 to address the more and more frequent impact of the climate, energy and water crisis.

In order to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, the European Union should adopt a comprehensive and ambitious set of climate and energy targets. The synergy between energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and GHG emissions targets is crucial to strengthen EU’s climate resilience and accelerate the energy transition. It is becoming more and more evident that such set of three targets is essential to reduce our dependence on external resources.

 

Download the full response

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The Net Zero Industry Act: The clean tech race is one Europe can win if it invests in Energy Efficiency First

The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) recognizes the need for a systemic change in Europe’s industrial policy to address the climate and energy challenge while keeping Europe’s economies more competitive. In it’s urgency the Commission has overlooked a sector that is truly crucial for Europe to reach net-zero by 2050: the energy efficiency sector.

On 16 March, the European Commission tabled its Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), outlining a plan to scale up manufacturing of clean technologies in the EU to make sure the Union is well-equipped for the clean energy transition.  

In the words of European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen: “It will create the best conditions for those sectors that are crucial for us to reach net zero by 2050: technologies like wind turbines, heat pumps, solar panels, renewable hydrogen as well as CO2 storage” (1).

As the representatives of some of Europe’s leading manufacturers of energy efficiency solutions and services, the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) fully recognizes the need for a systemic change in Europe’s industrial policy to address the climate and energy challenge while keeping Europe’s economies more competitive. 

Our members have a solid and growing manufacturing footprint in Europe – they want and need to be able to rely on a future industrial framework that is accessible, stable and competitive and that drives innovation and new sustainable business models. The Net Zero Industry Act is a necessary and welcome initiative. We also recognize the urgency of the challenge, as well as the need for proposals from the European Commission.

However, in its urgency the Commission has overlooked a sector that is truly crucial for Europe to reach net-zero by 2050: the energy efficiency sector.

Read our full statement here.

 

Bibliography: (1) Net-Zero Industry Act: Making the EU the home of clean technologies manufacturing and green jobs: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/

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