Environment and energy ministers from seven European countries on Tuesday (June, 17) asked the EU Commission to include a binding target for energy efficiency in the climate and energy package for 2030 due to be defined by October.
According to a joint letter [pdf] signed by ministers from Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg and Portugal, the reduction of energy consumption through energy savings measures is necessary to both cutting GHG emissions and increasing European energy security, as “the current situation in the Ukraine emphasises the importance of reducing dependence on imported oil and natural gas”.
The EU Commission in January proposed a 40 percent reduction target for GHG emissions and an EU-wide renewables target of at least 27 percent by 2030, leaving improvements in energy savings to be defined after a review of the current directive on energy efficiency due in July.
A leaked draft reported by Reuters said that despite lower expectations the EU bloc is on track to achieve energy savings of around 18 to 19 percent by 2020 (while it would fall short of a target for energy-saving smart meters), and a goal of 30-35 percent in 2030 is considered.
Some EU countries such as UK support a single target for GHG emissions, stressing it would allow countries more flexibility to choose the most cost-effective way under the EU emission trading scheme to cut emissions and design domestic energy policies. Signatories of Tuesday’s letter stressed the EU ETS “is currently only able to provide incentives in the electricity and parts of the industry sector”, while sectors as transport, buildings, trade, services and private households are not covered.
The EU Council is expected to discuss the 2030’s climate and energy package during a meeting on June, 26.