Friends of the Earth Europe protesting in Brussels on February 4th 2011 at the EU Special Energy Summit
Efficient energy use, sometimes simply called energy efficiency, is the goal of efforts to reduce the amount of energy required to provide products and services. One of the examples of sophisticated energy efficiency is the Passive House technology, which has already been presented in this blog.
Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy policy. In many countries energy efficiency is also seen to have a national security benefit because it can be used to reduce the level of energy imports from foreign countries and may slow down the rate at which domestic energy resources are depleted.
At the end of 2006, the EU pledged to cut its annual consumption of primary energy by 20% by 2020. According to Energy Union project partners Friends of The Earth Europe, these goals need to be revised and sharply raised to much higher levels of energy efficiency: The EU's current emission reduction target of 20% by 2020 is clearly inadequate. Even an EU-wide emission reduction target of 30% only gives a 50:50 chance of keeping global temperature increases under 2°C. We need to stay well below that level if we are going to avoid catastrophic climate change. This means that climate policies need to be urgently revised. Irreversible climate change can and must be avoided, but we need a plan that adds up. Europe must commit to domestic emission reductions of at least 40% by 2020, and promote simple, attractive solutions that make sure that people and businesses will act.
During a special climate change summit in Brussels on February 4th 2011, FOEE started a new campaign to raise awareness and put pressure on EU decision makers. All the facts and lots of information can be found in a well done briefing paper (PDF).
Quoting Brook Riley, climate justice and energy campaigner with Friends of the Earth Europe: “The cheapest, cleanest and most secure energy is that which a country doesn’t use. It’s in everybody’s interest to use less energy- we can contribute to solving the climate crisis, reduce household bills by up to 1000 Euros every year, and create millions of green jobs. But successful Europe wide action calls for strong political commitment. A binding energy savings target is the crucial first step."