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  • MEPs should send a strong signal at this afternoon’s ITRE committee meeting in support of higher ambition in the proposed revisions of the EU legislation on both energy efficiency and renewable energy
  • Clearer than ever before, scaling up energy savings and the deployment of renewable energy are needed to leave fossil fuels behind, which will help tackle the climate crisis, ensure energy security and protect the most vulnerable from price surges

Brussels, 03 March 2022 – MEPs should give a high priority to accelerating the energy transition by reducing energy demand and shifting to a fully renewable energy system in the discussions of the revisions of the energy efficiency and renewables directives this afternoon at the ITRE Committee. In light of the climate crisis and the dreadful war in Ukraine, which has made clearer the EU’s dependency on fossil fuels, there has never been a clearer time to make the needed and historic ramp up.

MEP Markus Pieper, rapporteur for the Renewables Energy Directive (RED,) will present a hugely disappointing draft report on the revision of the RED that doesn’t push beyond the Commission’s proposal of a 40% EU renewable energy target by 2030. Instead, MEPs should agree on an EU renewable energy target of at least 50%, if the EU is to stick to its commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and contribute to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C.

Improvements should however go way beyond the target. Pieper’s draft amendments suggest including low carbon hydrogen in the RED. MEPs should refrain from accepting the attempt to broaden the scope of the law in such a way, as this would be counterproductive and risk promoting the fossil fuels and nuclear energy that renewables should be displacing from Europe’s energy system.

On top of that, there are still too many barriers that hinder the accelerated deployment needed of renewables with respect for people and nature, especially taking into account that already in this decade renewable electricity generation, in particular through solar and wind, should at least triple. Reducing administrative burden, putting in place proper and efficient spatial planning in close cooperation and dialogue with all relevant stakeholders (including conservation NGOs and local communities), and allocating adequate resources and staff capacity should be set without delay.

There has never been a clearer time for MEPs to support the historic ramp up of renewable energy needed. The current conflict has revealed again how vulnerable the EU is to fossil fuels and its imports. Wind and solar will tackle the climate emergency, secure energy supply and protect people from price surges. Are these reasons not big enough for improving the proposals on the table?, said Veerle Dossche, Energy Policy Expert at CAN Europe.

On the other hand, CAN Europe welcomes the draft report of the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), led by MEP Niels Fuglsang, which lays out a very different picture: raised ambition of key measures can help shield against future energy price hikes and an increased binding 2030 EU energy efficiency target -only slightly below to the at least 45%- is a strong signal on how the EU should contribute to achieving the Paris agreement goal. Now MEPs need to back Fuglsang’s draft amendments as a minimum and raise the target even further, increasing the ambition of the Commission’s proposal.

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