EU leaders must show ‘political will’ on energy efficiency

EU member states need to stop "watering down" their energy efficiency proposals and recognise the potential for job growth, according to the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).

This comes ahead of the release of the draft Energy Efficiency Directive tomorrow (May 4) and follows a long-standing call by the confederation for binding efficiency targets at a European and national level to achieve “at least” an improvement of 20% by 2020, with a clear role for worker participation and training.

An original impact assessment by the commission concluded that 2.4 million jobs could be created through its limited proposals; however it now argues that many EU governments are reducing these, which it warns will limit potential job growth.

ETUC confederal secretary Judith Kirton-Darling, said: “The Commission’s original proposal was already very conservative in its scope and demands”.

“And now national governments are watering down those limited demands, rather than seeing energy efficiency as a means of creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Europe. Jobs we need urgently!”

As a result the ETUC, is calling on political leaders to demonstrate their commitment to the proposals by launching initiatives which provide strong models for other countries to replicate.

However, Ms Kirton-Darling noted that “this demands political will and engagement”. She said “We want to see EU member states demonstrate that political on Friday and in the coming weeks to reach an agreement which shows ambition not stagnation.”

Carys Matthews

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie