The European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) was established at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP16) in December 2010. It represents European multinational companies, a cross-party group of European politicians and energy efficiency campaigners from across Europe. These companies include Siemens, Philips, Schneider Electric and others.
"Today (8 May) the Danish Presidency of the EU is entering its latest round of trialogue meetings with the European Parliament and European Commission on the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED).
In its original version, the Energy Efficiency Directive was supposed to help the EU meet its flagging 2007 20% energy savings target by 2020 by proposing a package of an ‘ambitious’ energy saving 'measures'.
These measures have the potential to trigger an increase in the EU's gross domestic product of €34 billion in 2020, create almost half a million 'green' jobs and reduce fuel expenditure by €38 billion annually.
However, the Council’s current proposal would only close 37% of the savings gap meaning that the 2020 20% energy savings target and any opportunities to enhance growth and create jobs will be cut by a third.
This is an unsustainable and unacceptable path for the member states in these difficult economic and political times but this path can change course if the Danish Presidency shows more leadership.
The Danes had promised to secure an ambitious Energy Efficiency Directive before the end of its mandate on 30 June 2012, but until now they have not taken of the tough decisions needed to reconcile differences between the Council and the European Parliament.
Over the next few weeks Denmark must align the Council’s position with the most progressive member states around the Council table; Belgium, Ireland, Italy and Slovenia, and must not accept any further watering down of the articles 4 and 6, the key binding measures of the Directive from other member states.
Proposals such as excluding the ETS from the scope of the Directive’s Article 6 by France and Poland, considering ‘earlier’ early action from 2005 by Austria and limiting the scope of the renovation Roadmaps for buildings will greatly reduce the impact of the Directive.
Finding an agreement may not be easy, but it is not impossible. The Parliament showed, through skillful policy making, that you can be ambitious, realistic and flexible and have a large majority behind you. The same is possible for Denmark - it’s time to play politics."