As Brussels gears up to discuss binding energy efficiency targets for 2030 this week, two whistleblowers told EurActiv that the EU should learn from their experiences in implementing the 2006 energy services directive (ESD), which aimed to cut energy consumption.
‘Malcolm’, a former senior officer for a north European EU state's national energy agency, said that inconvenient energy savings measures were routinely skipped over when they were not legally enforceable.
“You just checked the directive article by article to see what the requirements were for member states,” he told EurActiv. “Is it a binding requirement? ‘Ok, we need to do something’. Is it non-binding? ‘Ok, perhaps the policy we already have fits with that part of the directive.’”
“That’s what we do,” he told EurActiv. “At least that’s what was done by my government. When the member states and Commission agreed on binding targets there was more budget available, a larger team, and more of an effort made.”
The EU has agreed three climate goals for 20% improvements in the continent’s CO2 emissions, renewables and energy efficiency by 2020. But energy efficiency is the only one that is not compulsory.