The European Commission today presented a communication on energy efficiency, which should guide EU governments in their decision on a 2030 energy savings target for the EU. The Greens have hit out at the manipulation of the findings on which the communication were based and the subsequent downgrading of the ambition for EU 2030 energy saving policy. Commenting on the communication, Green energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:
"Nobody should be deceived by the spin, what the Commission is proposing today on energy efficiency is devoid of true ambition, is not cost-effective and will prolong Europe's dependency on fuel imports from Russia and other unreliable exporters. Saving energy is not just some fringe climate change policy, it has to be the central plank of a sustainable European energy union, aimed at reducing our dependence on costly energy imports, as well as at the heart of European foreign policy and geopolitical strategy. Incoming Commission president Juncker has already signalled significantly greater ambition on energy efficiency and we hope that he and EU governments will pursue this approach for the EU's 2030 policy and not the business-as-usual policy being outlined today.
"The non-binding 2030 energy savings target of 30% being proposed by the Commission today is at odds with the Commission's own research on which the communication was supposed to be based. The scandalous political manipulation goes right to the top level of the Commission, with Commission president Barroso, energy commissioner Oettinger and secretary general Catherine Day complicit in holding back an impact assessment, which made clear that it is in Europe's interest to adopt a much more ambitious 2030 target. The impact assessment outlined that the most effective path for the EU to follow would be to adopt a 35% energy savings target for 2030. Beyond mere cost effectiveness there are also other arguments, notably in terms of geopolitical influence and climate change, why Europe should push for an even more ambitious target. We urge EU governments and incoming president Juncker not to follow today's communication and to be far more ambitious for scaling back our dependence on Putin's Russia, and moving Europe towards a sustainable energy future."