More European ambition for energy efficiency

The current Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), adopted in 2012, establishes a binding target calling for the EU to reach 20% energy efficiency by 2020, and in 2014 member states called for an suggested increase of at least 27%.

The EED targets are due to be revised before 2020, and the European Commission’s proposal for the revision will be released later this year, sometime between September and December.

In light of the upcoming revision of the EED, the European Parliament is currently working on a non-legislative report on the EED implementation. The Parliament’s Industry, Research, and Energy Committee (ITRE) is the leading committee for the overall report.

In April, the ENVI Committee adopted its opinion on the implementation of the EED, and on May 24th, ITRE carried out a voting session to decide on the Parliament’s proposed targets for the new directive. MEPs voted in favour of a 40% energy saving goal for 2030 to be included in this report. With 30 votes in favour, 25 against, and 1 abstention, the vote marks a great victory for MEPs that have been pushing for more ambitious energy efficiency policies. This vote merely suggests the opinion of the Parliament, yet it represents a leap forward in energy efficiency ambition at EU level. We can only hope that the Commission welcomes this same level of ambition in the proposal of the new EED.

Since 2014, the Commission has proposed a 2030 target of 30% and the Council a mere 27% - which has been the standard until today. It may be too early to known whether the Council and the Commission will change their stance, yet ENDS News revealed that the Commission is in fact considering supporting a 40% energy saving target.

“The public sector in EU countries should purchase energy efficient buildings, products, and services”. [DIRECTIVE 2012/27/EU

Energy Efficiency in the Health Sector

Under the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), all EU member states are required to use energy more efficiently at all levels of the energy chain: production, distribution, and the final consumption stage. This directive provides a series of measures to ensure major energy savings from both consumers and industry.

The majority of the EU’s energy today is still produced through the burning of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels directly damage human health at all stages of the supply chain; from deteriorating air quality during extraction, processing, and combustion – to the emissions of our carbon-dependant sectors like transportation, building, and agriculture. The health risks associated with the burning of fossil fuels covers an extensive range of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, premature mortality, cancers, and strokes - the list goes on. The combustion of fossil fuels does not only directly harm human heath through illnesses and diseases, but also accelerates the adverse effects of climate change.

For all of these reasons, HCWH calls on the European health sector to get ahead of the policy process, and begin now by taking a lead in implementing energy efficiency buildings, products, and services in order to achieve 40% energy efficiency by 2030, and to protect human and environmental health.