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European Union reaches agreement on new energy efficiency rules

A political agreement on new rules for improving energy efficiency in Europe has been reached between negotiators from the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the Council.

The new regulatory framework includes an energy efficiency target for the EU for 2030 of 32.5% with an upwards revision clause by 2023.

The agreement is the third of eight legislative proposals in the Clean Energy for All Europeans package (presented by the European Commission on 30 November 2016) now agreed by co-legislators. On 14 June a political agreement was reached on the revised Renewable Energy Directive, and on 14 May, the Energy Performance in Buildings Directive was adopted.

Together with the recently agreed 32% renewable energy target for the EU for 2030, Europe will be equipped to complete the clean energy transition and meet the goals set by the Paris Agreement, the European Commission said in a statement.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Caรฑete said: “Europe is by far the largest importer of fossil fuel in the world. Today we put an end to this. This deal is a major push for Europe’s energy independence. Much of what we spend on imported fossil fuels will now be invested at home in more efficient buildings, industries and transport. The new target of 32.5% will boost our industrial competitiveness, create jobs, reduce energy bills, help tackle energy poverty and improve air quality. Our path to real energy security and climate protection begins here at home, and this deal shows Europe’s determination to build a modern economy that is less dependent on imported energy and with more domestically produced clean energy.”

Following this political agreement, the text of the Directive will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council. Once endorsed by both co-legislators in the coming months, the updated Energy Efficiency Directive will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication. Member States will have to transpose the new elements of the Directive into national law 18 months after its entry into force.

The revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive is part and parcel of the implementation of the Juncker Commission priorities to build “a resilient Energy Union and a forward-looking climate change policy.”