The European Parliament has today approved a new package of measures aimed at cutting energy consumption across the EU by 20 per cent, including the renovation of public buildings, energy saving schemes for utilities and energy audits for all large firms.
Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London, has welcomed the outcome of the vote which will move the EU one step closer to realising important climate change targets by 2020.
Under the Europe 2020 Strategy, the EU has committed itself to reducing greenhouse gases by 20 per cent compared to 1990 levels by 2020, yet is falling behind on this crucial objective. It is hoped that today’s deal, negotiated by Green MEP Claude Turmes, will make progress towards closing this gap, which could save the EU up to €50 billion per year by reducing the sizeable and growing costs of dependence on energy imports which accounted for 3.9 per cent of EU GDP in 2011.
The legislation includes a number of crucial measures that will deliver concrete energy savings, including a requirement upon Member States to set out a roadmap for achieving energy savings of 80 per cent in the buildings sector by 2050 and requiring energy companies to deliver 1.5 per cent in annual savings across all end-use sectors.
Speaking after the vote, Jean said: “I welcome the outcome of today’s vote, which will give a boost to Europe’s economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals. The new energy efficiency directive enshrines the EU’s 20 per cent energy saving target in a legal framework and sets out binding measures which go a significant way towards bridging the current gap the EU is facing with regards to meeting its pledge to reduce energy consumption by 20 per cent by 2020.
However, more needs to be done to fully close this gap. Realising the EU’s energy saving target not only makes sense in terms of meeting our energy security and climate goals, but it also makes broader economic sense, stimulating economic activity and creating millions of jobs whilst bringing down energy bills for businesses and households. I trust that the UK Government will see the benefits and take positive action.”
Notes to Editor
1. The directive was adopted with 632 votes in favour, 25 against and 19 abstentions.