On 24th May, the Members of the European Parliament Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee restated the Parliament’s long-standing call for boosting ambition of the EU 2030 energy savings target to 40%, voting for an own initiative report on the implementation of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).

By Dora Petroula, Energy Savings Policy Coordinator

CAN Europe welcomes the support that the Committee showed for energy efficiency, acknowledging the significant benefits it brings for Europe’s economies and its citizens.

The global agreement to pursue efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, reached in Paris last year, forces the EU to recalibrate its climate and energy targets for 2030. This includes changing the weak, indicative target of saving at least 27% of energy by 2030 into a binding 40% one. The ITRE Committee stepped up to the plate and rightly acknowledged that “improving energy efficiency is crucial to achieving our climate targets, in line with the objectives endorsed in the Paris Agreement adopted at COP21”.

The Committee also voted for the extension of the implementation of the Article 7 of the EED beyond 2020 and called for the strengthening of this critical provision by eliminating the loopholes, which are currently allowed by the directive. Article 7 requires Member States to achieve 1.5% final energy savings every year until 2020. But the accounting tricks, used by almost every country in the EU, limit its impact by reducing the average savings to 0.8%.

The ITRE Committee vote echoes the opinion of the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee on this file, delivered a month ago. The result of the vote in the ITRE Committee now needs to be backed by the Plenary of the European Parliament in July.

A legislative proposal for the review of the Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EE), is expected to be published by the European Commission later this year. In the wake of the Paris Agreement, which requires additional action, this review is a great opportunity to keep the EU ahead of the game on energy savings. We urge the Commission to listen to the call of the European Parliament and propose a binding EU target of at least 40% energy savings for 2030, and strengthen the policies and measures that help EU reduce energy waste.