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EU Action Plans

Communication on a Resource-Efficient Europe

Aim of initiative

This is a flagship initiative under the Europe 2020 Strategy, aiming at addressing the increased pressure on the Earth’s natural resources (within the framework of increasing population) while securing growth and jobs for Europe. This initiative aims to set the general framework for policies that support the shift “towards a resource-efficient and low-carbon economy”.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

This initiative embraces the most relevant EU policy framework for Eurima. Among the initiatives foreseen to deliver on the resource-efficient Europe flagship are the lLow-Carbon Economy 2050 Roadmap, the Energy Roadmap 2050, the European Energy Efficiency Plan 2011, the Roadmap for a Resource-Efficient Europe and the strategy for the sustainable competitiveness of the EU construction sector.

Eurima’s view

The framing of the energy efficiency related initiatives under the resource-efficiency approach seems not only a logical, but also a constructive approach. This thinking should guide the transition towards a new EU energy model – one which provides a more sustainable, smart, environmentally-friendly and economically sensible way of first tackling demand and prioritising actions where the biggest and most cost-effective investments and savings can be made).

Status

Adopted on 26 January 2011. A series of related initiatives stem from the Communication. http://ec.europa.eu/resource-efficient-europe/pdf/resource_efficient_europe_en.pdf

Roadmap for a Resource Efficient Europe

Aim of initiative

This initiative follows the Communication on the flagship initiative for a resource-efficient Europe and aims to set the right conditions for a resource-efficient economy by decoupling economic growth from resource use.
The Roadmap sets an overall vision for 2050 together with more specific resource-efficiency objectives for 2020, and the pathways to meet them.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

This initiative is an opportunity to frame the energy policy debate (and more specifically, the greater role of energy efficiency and savings) into a wider goal of resource efficiency.

Eurima’s view

There was an open consultation on this subject in April 2011. Eurima contributed to it.

Status

A European Commission communication document was published on the 20/11/2011: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/resource_efficiency/pdf/com2011_571.pdf

Energy Efficiency Plan (EEP) 2011

Aim of initiative

The EEP 2011 sets the EU policy framework for energy efficiency in the coming years. It will be followed by essential initiatives for the development of a coherent EU policy on energy efficiency (see Framework Directive(s) on Energy Efficiency and Savings, Roadmap for Energy 2050).

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

The proposal acknowledged that the greatest energy savings potential lies in buildings. More specifically, the Plan states that addressing heat consumption in the EU building stock will be of prime importance in the coming years. It also proposes an initiative to refurbish 3% of the EU’s public buildings annually.

Eurima’s view

Despite some positive elements, the Plan lacks an overall strategic vision of where the EU needs to go in the long-term, and does not reflect its good intentions with specific proposals in respect of energy savings from EU buildings.

Status

Adopted on 8 March 2011. http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:52011DC0109:EN:HTML:NOT

Roadmap for a Low-Carbon Economy 2050

Aim of initiative

This Communication outlines the path towards the long-term target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80-to-95% (as agreed by EU Heads of State and government).

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

The Roadmap focuses on the sectors which are mostly responsible for Europe's emissions: power generation, buildings and construction, industry, transport, and agriculture. The long-term approach of EU legislation is very important for Eurima. In order to drastically reduce the energy demand of the building sector, the EU needs ambitious policies. In order to achieve far-reaching targets immediate action is necessary.
The Roadmap stresses that electricity will play a central role in the low-carbon economy, and that – with the help of specific action on energy efficiency - the EU could achieve as much as 25% CO2 emissions reduction by 2020. The Roadmap does not address energy-specific scenarios (those will be examined in the Energy 2050 Roadmap).

Eurima’s view

What is most interesting in this Roadmap is that the Commission establishes a scenario for the residential and tertiary sector of 37-to-53% CO2 savings by 2030, and 88-to-91% savings by 2050.

Status

Adopted on 8 March 2011, as part of a package together with the Energy Efficiency Plan 2011.  http://ec.europa.eu/energy/efficiency/action_plan/action_plan_en.htm

Energy Roadmap 2050

Aim of initiative

The Energy Roadmap was issued on 15 December 2011 following the adoption of the 2050 strategy for a low-carbon economy on 8 March 2011. In the context of the EU overall goal for 80-95% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Energy Roadmap presents the different pathways to reaching the target.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

The adoption of a clear and ambitious long-term vision for energy is essential from Eurima’s standpoint. Indeed, the much needed drastic reduction of energy consumption by the building sector can only be achieved if determined goals are fixed for 2050. The Low Carbon Roadmap calls for a 88-91% reduction on CO2 emissions from the residential sector.

Eurima thinks that the only way to meet this target is through an 80% reduction in energy use by the built environment by 2050, to be achieved through the deep renovation of the EU building stock. This long-term target must be accompanied by the establishment of realistic and cost-effective intermediate targets for 2020, 2030 and 2040. To get there action must begin immediately.

Eurima’s view

The following years will be key for demonstrating that the EU is serious about reaching its long-term targets. The Energy Roadmap gives energy efficiency a determinant role in all scenarios, but still the potential for energy savings in the building stock should be more boldly underlined by the Commission.

Status

Adopted in December 2011 
Council conclusions - 08 June 2012
Presidency conclusions as accepted by 26 Member States - 18 June 2012

EU Energy Strategy 2011-2020

Aim of initiative

This strategy defines the energy priorities for the next ten years and sets out the actions to be taken in order to tackle the challenge of – among others - saving energy.

Short introduction paragraph on why the specific piece of legislation is important for Eurima

The strategy recognises that “despite the importance of energy policy aims, there are serious gaps in delivery”, and focuses on five priorities, the first of which is “achieving an energy efficient Europe”. The Commission recognises the importance of the existing building stock and believes that it is one of the sectors with the largest potential to make energy efficiency gains.
It also says that “the energy-efficiency renovation rate should be accelerated by investment incentives, wider use of energy service companies, innovative financial instruments with high leverage factors and financial engineering at European, national and local levels”. In this context, the strategic document announces future initiatives about the “division of investment incentives between owners and tenants and energy labelling of buildings (certificates used in the real estate market and public support policies)”.

Eurima’s view

Being a overarching and strategic document, Eurima welcomes the fact that “achieving an energy efficient Europe” is regarded as the top priority. In addition, of the action points, the first concerns “tapping into the biggest energy-saving potential — buildings and transport”.

Status

It was adopted by the Commission on 10 November 2010.  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P7-TA-2010-0441&language=EN&ring=A7-2010