A new report out today shows that the European Union could benefit from €200 billion net savings per year providing it gets on track to meeting its stated 20% by 2020 energy savings target .
The report written by Ecofys and commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe also looks to 2030 and finds that net savings in the order of €250 billion per year could be achieved if the EU reduces its energy use by roughly 35% below 2005 levels by 2030.
These findings should serve as a wake-up call. The EU’s non-binding 20% by 2020 energy savings target is not on track to being met. And so far there is insufficient support from the European Commission and national governments for a 2030 target for energy savings. This means that despite the advantages, the required energy savings risk not being fully achieved.
Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “Tough action on energy efficiency would deliver impressive financial savings equivalent to the annual GDP of Denmark. But governments are failing to embrace energy savings despite the benefits of cheaper bills and new jobs and it being the most effective action we can take to cut emissions and fight climate change. The EU needs to urgently put energy savings at the top of its priorities and set binding targets for 2020 and 2030.”
Dora Petroula, energy savings policy officer for Climate Action Network Europe said: “Energy savings is a win/win solution to Europe’s economic recovery, creating jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A binding energy savings target for 2030 would encourage long term investment past 2020, the European Commission and national governments need to make it happen.”
– – – The research, which was first published in June 2012 and updated in February 2013, was conducted by Ecofys– a leading consultancy in renewable energy, energy & carbon efficiency, energy systems & markets and energy & climate policy – and commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe. Read the full report here.