EU Environment Committee Call for Mandatory Energy Efficiency Targets

THE EU Environment Committee yesterday voted on measures aiming to get the EU on track to meet its 20 percent energy efficiency target by 2020.

The Environment Committee supported the European Commission's broad approach to improving energy efficiency, but called for Member States to have "mandatory national targets" and greater flexibility on how to achieve them.

For example, the committees MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) said Member States should be allowed to opt out of a proposed target to renovate 3 percent of public buildings annually, as long as they achieved more in other areas. "MEPs want Member States to have more freedom but there should be no doubt that we must meet the target," said German MEP Peter Liese.

The EU is currently projected to achieve only half of its 20 percent energy efficiency target for 2020. MEPs say improvement in this area would be the most cost-effective way to achieve or improve on EU emissions-reduction targets and to help reduce the EU's current €400 billion annual bill for energy imports.

The involved MEPs also voted on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) credits, which they called to be taken out of the next phase of trading to help lift the sinking carbon price.

Warning against an excessively low or high carbon price, Liese said, "We approved a careful intervention in the ETS. The Commission should set a significant number of allowances aside to stabilise the carbon price."

The EU Environment Committee narrowly passed amendments that went further, saying that 1.4 billion allowances should be cancelled and that the 'linear factor' (which sets an annual decrease) should be increased to 2.25 percent.

Picture: EU Flags by Open Democracy reproduced under CCL.

Wednesday 21st December 2011

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