The ups and downs of EU energy efficiency policy

Perhaps some of you remember the embarrassing (for some) story about how the EU’s 20% renewable energy target came into being? After the renewables directive was agreed, governments belatedly realised they had signed up to meeting a 20% share of energy rather than a 20% share of electricity… It was a much more ambitious target,… » read more

This week the EU Parliament will vote on the Energy Efficiency Directive, with the Council due to follow in October. Both votes are expected to be a formality – no-one wants another row over the text. But before savings from the Directive can actually begin in 2014, the Commission and member states must work out… » read more

Two days before negotiations on the Energy Efficiency Directive were concluded in the night of 13/14 June, Martin Lidegaard, the Danish Climate and Energy minister, told us how baffled he was by the Council position. Why did Member States support the benefits of meeting the EU’s 20% by 2020 energy savings target, but insist on… » read more

An edited version of this post was first published in European Voice Many are suggesting that it is for the EU Parliament to make concessions on the Energy Efficiency Directive dossier. This downplays the EU Council’s underhand negotiating tactics, especially on the centrepiece 1.5% annual savings target. Over the past months Member States have been… » read more

Click here to read the full report by ECOFYS Report commissioned by Climate Action Network Europe and Friends of the Earth Europe More about the study: Standard studies on the financial benefits of energy savings simply look at the money that businesses and consumers no longer need to spend on energy. According to ECOFYS, if… » read more

No country could be more fitting to negotiate a deal on the draft Energy Efficiency Directive than current EU President Denmark. The country is the inspiration behind the directive – the proof that economic growth can go hand-in-hand with reductions in energy use. But the Danes seem to have caught ‘Presidency Syndrome’: the desire to… » read more

Throw a frog into boiling water, the story goes, and it will jump out. But if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated it will not perceive the danger and will be boiled to death. This is just what is happening to the draft Energy Efficiency Directive. Each successive amendment from the… » read more

On 8 April climate change minister Greg Barker told the Financial Times “We are working patiently and quietly behind the scenes with EU partners to convince them of the strong economic as well as environmental reasons why we should go for 30 per cent [greenhouse gas emission cuts] rather than 20 per cent”. Barker hopes… » read more