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Ministers push efficiency back onto summit agenda

Energy efficiency and renewables have been reintroduced as priorities for heads of state and government talks on the EU energy union, after energy ministers said these should not be overlooked.

At a meeting last Thursday a number of energy ministers criticized the lack of prominence for energy efficiency in an earlier draft European Council outcome. These included ministers from Germany, France, Spain, the UK and the Czech Republic, sources said.

Now a new draft outcome for the 19-20 March Council meeting, dated 9 March, calls for revised legislation on energy efficiency and renewables “to underpin the agreed 2030 targets”. It also stresses the need to fully implement and “rigorously” enforce existing energy legislation.

An earlier paper containing guidelines for the summit outcome drafted by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk made no mention of energy efficiency or renewable energy deployment. Critics accused the president of seeking to sideline environmental issues in favor of energy security and unconventional fossil fuels.

The new draft summit outcome will be discussed and amended by member state diplomats on Wednesday.

Stefan Scheuer of the Coalition for Energy Savings said the new text would send a clear sign to the European Commission to move forward with its review of energy efficiency legislation.

“But we now need to see a proper follow-up on the ‘energy efficiency first’ principle announced by commissioners through actions such as a new market design” he said.

 

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newsflash: 
Issue 40