"The European Union needs an ambitious and effective strategy for energy efficiency until 2030", said the spokesman on environment of the biggest political group in the European Parliament (EPP- Christian Democrats), Dr. Peter Liese. "To reduce CO2 and the consumption of fossil fuels, like gas and oil, no other way is more cost-efficient. The construction of new nuclear power plants, renewable energies, and CSS are much more expensive", said Liese who was also the rapporteur of the ENVI committee on the energy efficiency directive.

"We spend more than one billion euro per day to import fossil fuels like gas, oil and coal. And the number one exporter of gas and oil to the European Union is Russia. It is worthwhile to think about how we can channel this money to local installers and European industry which offer solutions for energy efficiency. Furthermore, we are obliged by the European Treaty to promote energy efficiency. And the impact assessment of the European Commission for the 2030 targets says that to fix three targets including one for energy efficiency is better for growth and jobs," Liese explained. Some member states and stakeholders argue that the EU should not continue to have three climate and energy targets but focus on CO2 reduction only. Inside the commission a very weak and non-binding target of 25-27% energy efficiency is discussed. The European Commission will present its strategy during the next few days, probably the 23nd of July. The European Parliament, in a report that has been prepared by the environment and industry committee together, asks for a binding target of 40% and a binding effort sharing for the member states.

"The position of the European Parliament is well founded. A scientific study of the Fraunhofer-Institute proves that the target is cost-efficient for the European economy. However, political realism also needs to be considered. I think we will not get a target of 40% but the figure must be significantly higher than what has been published as a result of internal Commission discussions some days ago. I think the target can be achieved without major command and control measures. I favour a concept of a binding national target but flexibility for the member states to achieve the target. Incentives like tax reduction have been proven very successful and the boost for the local economy will compensate the loss of income for the finance ministers. Article 7 of the existing energy efficiency directive introduces a systematic incentive scheme for consumers and SME and is also worth considering", said Liese.

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