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EU leaders recognise importance of energy efficiency, but fail to fix 2020 target shortfall


07 Feb 2011


EU Priorities 2020

Today’s European Summit dedicated to energy and innovation has emphasised the importance of energy savings for the climate, as well as for competitiveness, jobs and energy security. The cross-sectoral Coalition for Energy Savings welcomes European leaders’ focus on energy efficiency, but warns that there is not enough being done to get us on track to meet the 20% energy efficiency target by 2020.

‘EU leaders have acknowledged that at current rates, we will miss the goal of cutting energy use by 20% by 2020 - but unfortunately their solutions fall short of closing the gap. We need more action now, not a review in one or two years’ time, as the Council proposes,' stated Erica Hope, from Climate Action Network Europe. ‘A binding target is needed to generate the impetus for measures that will deliver the savings. Reducing energy demand will do far more to improve Europe’s energy security than building more gas pipelines.’

‘The Council’s highlighting of public sector buildings as front-runners is welcome, but their proposal adds next to nothing to existing commitments.’ commented Amanda Afifi, Secretary General of EuroACE. ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg - what we need is a major retro-fitting programme for all buildings across the EU. This would bring huge energy savings, and would kick-start our economies, generating millions of new jobs.’

The Coalition for Energy Savings is united in the conviction that the efficient use of energy along the full supply chain is the most effective and immediate instrument to tackle the economic, social, and environmental challenges in the EU. Coalition members believe strongly that policymakers should adopt binding commitments, supported by the necessary fiscal and financial incentives and instruments aimed at achieving better demand management, rather than focusing on securing and developing supply alone.

By delaying strong action, the European Council is missing the opportunity to mitigate climate change whilst also reducing oil and gas dependency, kick-starting the economy with new green jobs, and reducing energy costs for consumers.


For more information, please contact:

The Coalition Secretariat - Simon Wilson
Tel. +32 476 402384

Notes to editors

Current projections from the European Commission show that only 9% savings will be achieved by 2020, well under half the target.

Achieving the 2020 energy efficiency goal will reduce energy bills for consumers by €78 billion annually in 2020, save 560 Mt of CO2, reduce our dependence on imported energy, generate millions of valuable jobs and spur low-carbon competitiveness.

The Coalition for Energy Savings is an unprecedented gathering of 22 businesses, professional and civil society associations. The Coalition’s purpose is to make the case for a European energy policy that places a much greater, more meaningful emphasis on energy efficiency and savings. In particular it is arguing for the current 20% energy efficiency target to be binding. It is a must.

Members of The Coalition: ACE; BPIE; CAN Europe; CECED; CECODHAS; ClientEarth; COGEN Europe; European Copper Institute; eceee; ECF; EEB; ELC; EU CLG; Eurima; EuroACE; Friends of the Earth Europe; Glass for Europe, PU-Europe; RAP; RICS; The Climate Group; WWF