EU leaders fall short on energy efficiency

EU leaders have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030, but have watered down the target for energy efficiency.

This week has seen EU leaders come together to set targets for greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency and renewable energy for 2030. A target of 30% for energy efficiency was considered, but leaders finally agreed on a target of 27% across the EU, and this comes with a series of provisos. It is not legally binding nationally or at EU level, and will be reviewed in six years with the possibility of lifting the target then to 30%. The news is particularly disappointing as in the run up to the EU leaders summit, industry leaders had called for a more stretching target of 40%.

A renewable energy target of 30% has been set.

John Alker, director of policy and communications at the UK Green Building Council, said of the decision: “Having committed to an ambitious carbon reduction goal, it would have made sense to give ourselves the best chance of meeting that cost-effectively – with an equally stretching and mandatory energy efficiency target, both at EU and member state level.

“Sadly, an opportunity to give a much needed boost to low carbon business across Europe has gone begging. A destination has been set, but we are effectively setting off on the journey with no map and no guarantee that we will actually get there.”

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