Energy Ministers Weaken EU Energy Savings Obligation

ENERGY ministers in the EU Council today confirmed 30% energy efficiency target, but weakened the key energy saving measure to deliver it.

A meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg today represented the last opportunity for the Maltese Presidency to achieve an ambitious Council position on the 2030 energy efficiency framework.

The meeting took place only days after EU governments reaffirmed their commitment to swiftly and fully implementing the Paris Agreement. [1]

While the ministers confirmed the 30% energy efficiency headline target, they moved forward with plans to lower the annual energy savings obligation (Article 7 of the Directive) from 1.5%, as proposed by the European Commission, to 1%.

The agreement left only a fraction of the original and more ambitious proposal by the European Commission. [2]

Led by France and Germany many member states including Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Luxemburg and Ireland showed their support for stronger rules and targets, whereas the UK, backed by Malta, Poland and others asked for the introduction of new flexibilities and lower, non-binding targets.

The discussions cast doubts over the EU’s overall commitment to tackling climate change.

By the end of the year, the three European institutions – the Council, the Parliament and the Commission – will start the negotiations to reach a final agreement.

The EEB (European Environmental Bureau) is Europe’s largest network of environmental organisations with 141 members in 33 countries, their Policy Officer, Roland Joebstl, said: “The result of the discussion falls short of delivering a meaningful framework and would fail to unlock energy efficiency investments in Europe. 

"We call on the incoming Estonian Presidency to start strengthening instead of dismantling the Energy Efficiency Directive as part of the upcoming negotiations with the European Parliament, and to lay a strong foundation for the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement.”

Monday 26th June 2017

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