Benedek Jávor: Energy efficiency has enormous potential
Greens/EFA group MEP Benedek Jávor says that energy efficiency has multiple benefits and by using energy more efficiently, Europeans can lower their energy bills.
Benedek Jávor | Photo credit: European Parliament audiovisual
Jávor’s comments on Tuesday were timed to coincide with the latest phase of negotiations on the EU energy efficiency directive, which are about to enter the closing stage.
The decisive phase on the target setting for energy efficiency is about to start next week in trilogue negotiations.
Addressing a news briefing in Parliament on Tuesday, Jávor argued for more ambitious targets in the final draft, saying, “Energy efficiency has enormous potential, with multiple benefits such as reduced energy bills and poverty, better air quality, and fewer greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Hungarian MEP, claimed that the Council is insisting on a “long list of exemptions, statistical tricks and loopholes to avoid or delay concrete action” on energy efficiency.
He told reporters, “Energy efficiency has multiple benefits. By using energy more efficiently, Europeans can lower their energy bills, reduce their reliance on external suppliers of oil and gas, and help protect the environment.
“Moreover, energy efficiency measures are also good for business and boosting our economy: they reduce business costs and create jobs.”
The MEP added, “Energy efficiency measures are a crucial part of the EU’s commitment to meet the Paris agreement by keeping emissions down.”
He argued that it is also the most cost-effective tool to reduce energy poverty, which the Greens say affects over 11 per cent of the EU’s population.
The deputy pointed to a European Commission study which he said shows that an energy efficiency target up to 35 per cent is cost-effective.
“Even with a 35+ target there are additional benefits, including less energy dependency and better health outcomes for EU citizens.”
Jávor went on, “We need to make sure that the directive delivers, so when analysing the positions of the council we need to look jointly at the target and the measures proposed.”
He said, “One of the biggest questions is whether transport will be included in the scope of the calculations.”
Transport accounts for one third of energy used in the European Union.
Further issues include accounting of energy efficiency measures in building stock.
The Greens/EFA group says that a significant number of countries are open to “more overall ambition or higher targets” in the final directive.
These include France, Portugal, The Netherlands, Sweden, German and Luxembourg.
The Greens say the Bulgarian EU Council presidency may close the file before the end of this month.
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