Unlocking Energy Savings in Europe’s Economy
Improving energy savings is not only key to fighting climate change; it is also the cheapest way to reduce fossil fuel energy consumption, and is the cornerstone of long-term economic and social prosperity.
Globally, energy use contributes to almost two-thirds of greenhouse gas emissions, and these emissions are rising. Although largely neglected, the most cost-effective way to reduce energy consumption is by promoting the use of more efficient appliances and cars, better insulation, and better heating and cooling systems.
The economic benefits of energy savings
The benefits of energy savings also extend far beyond achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy savings contribute to economic and social policy prosperity. Investing in energy savings, boosts job creation and reduces the amount Europe spends on energy imports. It also reduces energy costs for businesses and industries, therefore making them, and the European Union, more competitive internationally.
Stopping the wasteful use of energy and improving energy efficiency would also directly benefit European citizens, by lowering energy bills for consumers and protecting homeowners from fluctuating energy prices. In times of global economic crisis Europe cannot afford to miss these energy savings opportunities.
It is now time for European governments to get the European Union on track to meet its promised 20% energy savings target by 2020 by stepping up implementation of current policies and for the European Commission to urgently and carefully enforce them. Additionally, the EU still has the opportunity to agree a 2030 target, that is more ambitious than the “at least 27% energy efficiency target” recommended by the European Council in October 2014. Finally, the EU must ensure that energy savings continues to have its own distinct role within the Energy Union, AND within the framework of the 2030 energy and climate package.
Arianna Vitali Roscini
Policy Officer for energy conservation
WWF European Policy Office,
+32 2 743 88 16