In an open letter to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece, the businesses represented by the European Alliance to Save Energy (EU-ASE) argue that “the European debate should not be framed as if there is a choice between competitiveness and taking action on climate change”.
The signatories elaborate that greater energy efficiency is crucial for the realization of climate change objectives, as well as vital for competitiveness and energy security.
By framing their debate through reference to the European austerity policy, the companies suggest that at a time when every cent matters, energy efficiency savings could give sizeable gains.
The Alliance believe that Europe could gain €1-2 trillion (US$1.4-2.8 trillion) from 2020-2030 by taking advantage of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities which are already available, stating: “Cost-effective efficiency opportunities are under-exploited by companies and consumers because of entrenched market, government, regulatory and financial failures.”
The coalition of sustainable minded corporates also note that should energy efficiency be prioritized, Europe would be less dependent on energy imports.
The businesses conclude the letter by asking the representatives at the March meeting of the European Council to lead ambitious action on energy efficiency based on three main points:
The Council meeting will be the first ordinary meeting since the European Parliament backed a 2030 30% renewable energy target last February.
By Alana Ryan