Europe on track for 2020 energy efficiency goal -report

Thu Jun 19, 2014 7:21pm GMT

* Rate of progress suggests 30 pct goal or higher for 2030

* Report to be published in July

* Report sees no need for emergency enforcement legislation

By Barbara Lewis

BRUSSELS, June 19 (Reuters) - The European Union is almost on track to reach its goal of improving energy savings by a fifth by 2020 and may consider a significantly higher target for the next decade, according to a draft European Commission document seen by Reuters.

Energy efficiency has risen up the agenda in Europe as member states seek ways to reduce dependency on imported fossil fuels in the context of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, which has led to the cut-off of Russian gas to Ukraine.

EU heads of state and government will debate efficiency and energy security next week as concern mounts that the cut-off could result in knock-on disruptions to EU supplies.

An EU goal to improve energy savings by 20 percent by 2020 versus projected use, or business as usual, was initially a non-binding target. Member states were expected to meet only about half of it.

But in a progress report, the EU Commission found that the bloc will achieve energy savings of around 18 to 19 percent, after the Danish EU presidency in 2012 pushed through a law to enforce the 20 percent efficiency target.   Continued...

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