EU-ASE at Next Generation Brescia (Italy)

On 15 December 2020 EU-ASE co-hosted Next Generation Brescia, an online event to discuss the opportunity to boost green economic recovery at local level in the framework of Next Generation EU and the Italian Recovery and Resilience Plan.

EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni moderated the first part of the event, which focused on European and national guidelines for the Italian recovery and resilience plan. The session featured high-level speakers from the European Commission and the Italian government, including Antonio Misiani, Vice-Minister of Economy and Finance, and Marco Buti, Head of cabinet of EU Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni.

 

The recording of the webinar is available here (in Italian)
Read the article about the event (in Italian)

 

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Fostering a green recovery with energy efficiency at its core – 2020 in review

The Activity Report 2020 contains an overview of the activities carried out by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) throughout the year. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 global pandemic, EU-ASE successfully contributed to boosting energy efficiency in EU legislation. We did so while underlining energy efficiency’s paramount role to achieve sustainable economic recovery across Europe.

EU-ASE remains the most influential business led organisation on energy efficiency in Brussels. The Alliance’s active participation in debates and high-level conferences happening at national, European and international level has been remarkable.

 

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EU-ASE at How Can We Govern Europe? (Italy)

On 3 December 2020 EU-ASE president Monica Frassoni participated in the 7th edition of How can we govern Europe?, the annual conference hosted by the Italian EU affairs media Eunews. This years’ edition was held as an online discussion.

In her intervention, Monica Frassoni discussed how to advance energy efficiency as a key tool to achieve climate neutrality both at European and national level, as well as how Italy can boost a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic through its Recovery and Resiliency Plan.

Speakers included representatives of the Italian government, the European Commission and the European Parliament.

 

The recording of the webinar is available here (in Italian)

 

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Inputs for economic recovery, resilience and long-term sustainability

This short paper outlines the inputs of the European Alliance to Save Energy to achieve a green economic recovery, resilience and long-term sustainability in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

These include spending criteria and quota that should be applied in both the Recovery and Resilience Facility Regulation (RRF), currently being negotiated by the European Parliament and Council, as in the National Recovery and Resilience Plans (NRRPs).

The paper calls for prioritising investments in areas such as energy efficiency rather than lock-in resources in fossil fuel infrastructures that undermine the achievement of the Union’s climate and environmental objectives.

A key area of intervention to boost energy efficiency and cut CO2 emissions is represented by buildings. In the NRRPs, Member States should priorities cost-effective renovation programmes that foster the quality, rate, and depth of comprehensive renovations.

Technical assistance is also essential to remove the hurdles for local authorities, SMEs and corporate investments to implement energy efficiency projects and renovate the building stock.

 

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EU needs mandatory targets and means to save energy

The European Commission needs to bring in legally-binding energy efficiency targets to support building renovation and give member states the support they need to reach them.

by Kamila Waciega, Public Affairs Director for Energy at Veolia, and Ville Niinistö, Finnish Member of the European Parliament and coordinator for the Greens/EFA group in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy.

In its recent communication on the European Union climate target for 2030, the EU Commission described energy efficiency legislation and policies as essential instruments contributing to the achievement of the new 2030 greenhouse gas reduction.

However, according to the accompanying impact assessment and the evaluation of National Energy and Climate Plans, the EU will surpass its current target for renewable energy by 1.7%, while it will still fail to meet its current 2030 efficiency target by 3%.

A similar result is expected for the energy efficiency target for 2020.

As the Commission is in the process of revising the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), it is crucial to seize this opportunity to address the reasons for such an outcome of current energy efficiency policies.

One clear issue is the fact that the renewable energy target is binding at EU level, while the energy efficiency one still is not.

In the current context of dire health, economic and environmental crisis, we cannot afford this discrepancy. We need both higher and nationally binding energy efficiency targets, given all the benefits that investments in this segment can reap.

Following the position of the European Parliament, which asked for 60% emissions reduction by 2030, and taking into account the abovementioned impact assessment, the existing target for energy efficiency needs to be increased to 45% to untap the energy efficiency potential.

To ensure delivery, the EU level target should be made binding.

However, setting a better target is not enough. The most arduous element is providing means to achieve it. Those are regulatory and financial, and both can be ensured through the EED, which is currently planned for revision by June 2021.

 

Read the full article on EURACTIV

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