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26 June 2014

CEEweb urges the President of the EC

growthCEEweb for Biodiversity urges the President of the European Commission, the European Council as well as the Energy and Climate Commissioners to stand for an ambitious energy efficiency target by 2030 in order to use energy efficient economic as well as environmental benefits.

The European Commission is currently planning out the course, aiming to secure Europe’s energy supply and to set the 2030 climate targets. In this context, we call for your leadership for an ambitious and binding energy efficiency target.

CEEweb for Biodiversity is an international network of 61 nature conservation NGOs from all around Central and Eastern Europe. Due to the fact, that the biggest driver behind the current rate of biodiversity loss is our unsustainable resource, including energy use, we are advocating for the absolute reduction of resource use considering sufficiency and fair distribution of benefits arising from resource use. One step ahead to achieve our aim is to set an ambitious, but also economically sound target for energy efficiency by 2030.

Only with a good and long-term reliable policy framework for energy efficiency can its potential fully develop. Current progress in implementing cost-effective energy efficiency potentials is still insufficient. We are therefore approaching you with the urgent request to commit yourself to an ambitious and binding energy savings target for 2030.

A weak and non-binding target for 2030 would be a disaster for the EU economy and climate protection, as the huge cost-effective potential locked up in energy efficiency would be dismissed. The Fraunhofer policy report on energy efficiency measures in the European Union shows that a target of 25 % covers only one fifth of the cost-effective energy efficiency potential for 2030. With such a lack of target ambition, consumers’ energy costs and the future costs of the European energy system (generation, transmission and distribution) would rise considerably.

Europe would lose millions of new jobs that could be created in the energy efficiency market. The current debate surrounding the crisis in the Ukraine further demonstrated how vital it is for Europe to reduce its high energy dependency.

Whereas by contrast, the European Commission’s own Impact Assessment also shows that a 40% energy efficiency target – also supported by the European Parliament – would allow gas imports to be reduced by 40%. In addition, Europe’s economy would grow at a rate of 4% a year, trigger an annual 3.15% boost in employment and cut fossil fuel imports by €505 billion a year.

For these reasons a binding energy efficiency target for 2030 is also supported by multiple EU Member States as well as a broad range of businesses, trade unions, consumers, churches, development and environmental groups.

Using the current window of opportunity and setting a binding framework for more planning reliability will be decisive if we want to successfully exploit the full potential of energy efficiency as our most valuable energy resource. As representatives environmental associations we hope to be able to count on your support for a far-reaching and binding European energy savings target.