The very first line points to energy efficiency as the top priority of the 2011-2020 energy strategy: “Energy efficiency is at the heart of the EU’s Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth and of the transition to a resource-efficient economy”.
Energy Cities welcomes this new opening and is pleased to see that the Covenant of Mayors is featured in the Plan: “The Covenant is a formal commitment to reduce signatories’ CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020 through sustainable energy measures on their territories”. The network also appreciates the fact that other initiatives (Smart Cities and Communities) are being developed on the basis of the Covenant.
However, the word “action” has been removed from the title. This
exacerbates the lack of ambitions and concrete objectives of this plan.
Along the same lines, the overall plan doesn’t constitute a response that matches the scale of the challenges, despite a series of encouraging measures.
Already the statement of the European summit in February 2011 made no break from tradition: after highlighting the need to harness the whole energy saving potential of various sectors to achieve the targets set for 2020, the Heads of State and government finally decided…to do nothing or almost nothing. They specifically refused the idea of binding energy saving targets, although this had been a request of the European Parliament in December 2010. If we do not put this “business-as-usual” attitude behind us, there is indeed little chance that the 20% energy efficiency target will be reached in 2020!
2011 Energy Efficiency Plan : Where has the action gone?
Article extracted from Energy Cities INFO, n.39 (April 2011).
@ photo Tyrone Turner, @ image ShutterStock