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National energy targets backed by EU committee

World Cement,

The European Parliament’s Energy Committee has backed an EU directive calling for binding national energy efficiency targets. At present, the EU hopes to achieve 20% energy savings by 2020. However, this target is non-binding and the Commission predicts that only 10% savings will be achieved. It is hoped that binding targets, specific to each EU member state, will help countries to reach energy saving goals.

The Commission is required to check whether EU countries are on track to reach their targets by June 2013, before delivering a proposal for energy savings targets for 2030. They will also report on the impact incentives to invest in low-carbon technologies have had, as well as assessing whether further measures should be taken before the third phase of the EU’s emissions trading scheme (ETS) begins.

The following criteria are addressed in the directive:

  • Renovating public buildings.
  • Energy saving schemes for utilities.
  • Public procurement.
  • Energy audits.
  • Fair bills.
  • Promoting efficiency in heating and cooling.
  • Financing facilities.

As the Energy Committee approved the report, a rapporteur will now proceed with negotiations with the Council before a vote takes place.

According to rapporteur Claude Turmes: “This vote is a major sign that Parliament, with a majority including most political parties, takes rising energy costs and energy poverty seriously. Energy efficiency offers possibilities for job creation – notably in the building sector. Now governments have a choice: protect citizens against energy poverty and create many job opportunities or allow big energy companies to make ever increasing profits.”

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