EU could make net savings of over €200 billion per year with energy efficiency

6 June 2012

European Union must meet 20% energy efficiency target for 2020

The European Union could benefit from over €200 billion net savings per year through energy efficiency measures, according to new research released by Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe today. The research concludes that for every Euro saved through reduced energy use, businesses and consumers save an additional Euro as energy efficiency measures drive down energy prices.

Certain member states are blocking effective action on energy efficiency during the on-going negotiations on the European Union's draft Energy Efficiency Directive. However, a binding 20% target and strong measures to save energy are crucial if Europe is to benefit environmentally and economically from energy savings.

Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "Europe cannot afford to miss its energy savings commitments. We're facing a paradox – governments are ambitiously negotiating to oppose an Energy Efficiency Directive that could fix their budget deficits".

Meeting the European Union's current 20% energy efficiency target for 2020 – which at present rates will be missed by more than half – would cut annual greenhouse gas emissions by 740 million tonnes, create up to 2 million new jobs, slash dependence on energy imports and produce net savings of over €200 billion per year.

Erica Hope, senior policy officer for Climate Action Network Europe said: "Making the Energy Efficiency Directive strong enough to meet Europe's 20% by 2020 energy savings target means over €200bn net savings per year. But this will only happen if governments rethink their positions on the Directive and support a deal that adds up".

Friends of the Earth Europe and Climate Action Network Europe will be releasing further materials on the performance of member states in the negotiations on the new Energy Efficiency Directive: