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Perhaps some of you remember the embarrassing (for some) story about how the EU’s 20% renewable energy target came into being? After the renewables directive was agreed, governments belatedly realised they had signed up to meeting a 20% share of energy rather than a 20% share of electricity… It was a much more ambitious target, […]

This week the EU Parliament will vote on the Energy Efficiency Directive, with the Council due to follow in October. Both votes are expected to be a formality – no-one wants another row over the text. But before savings from the Directive can actually begin in 2014, the Commission and member states must work out […]

Two days before negotiations on the Energy Efficiency Directive were concluded in the night of 13/14 June, Martin Lidegaard, the Danish Climate and Energy minister, told us how baffled he was by the Council position. Why did Member States support the benefits of meeting the EU’s 20% by 2020 energy savings target, but insist on […]

An edited version of this post was first published in European Voice Many are suggesting that it is for the EU Parliament to make concessions on the Energy Efficiency Directive dossier. This downplays the EU Council’s underhand negotiating tactics, especially on the centrepiece 1.5% annual savings target. Over the past months Member States have been […]

No country could be more fitting to negotiate a deal on the draft Energy Efficiency Directive than current EU President Denmark. The country is the inspiration behind the directive – the proof that economic growth can go hand-in-hand with reductions in energy use. But the Danes seem to have caught ‘Presidency Syndrome’: the desire to make […]

Throw a frog into boiling water, the story goes, and it will jump out. But if it is placed in cold water that is slowly heated it will not perceive the danger and will be boiled to death. This is just what is happening to the draft Energy Efficiency Directive. Each successive amendment from the […]

On 8 April climate change minister Greg Barker told the Financial Times “We are working patiently and quietly behind the scenes with EU partners to convince them of the strong economic as well as environmental reasons why we should go for 30 per cent [greenhouse gas emission cuts] rather than 20 per cent”. Barker hopes […]

We call it salami tactics: the EU Council is cutting away the Energy Efficiency Directive slice by slice. One tactic is to count savings made prior to the directive’s implementation (see our story on ‘early action’). Another is to credit savings before they have actually been achieved. How this works: several member states are trying to […]

Member States are rightly shunned by their peers for getting creative with budget deficit figures. So why is there so much support from national governments to apply the same methods to the EU’s draft Energy Efficiency Directive? Leaked documents from European Council meetings show that at least 12 out of 27 Member States are seeking […]

From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (ENER) Sent: Friday, March 16, 2012 5:47 PM To: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX(ENER) Subject: Last night – efficiency directive and the Commissioner Dear XXXXXXXX, Many thanks for a lovely dinner last night and please tell XXXXXXXX it was delicious as ever. Our place next time! I hope you didn’t take my remarks about our Commissioner the […]

Editor’s note: The latest fashion in the debate on the energy efficiency directive is to call for energy intensity targets (i.e. the number of units of energy used to create a unit of GDP) instead of the established 20% reduction in energy consumption. It is important to be aware of the vested interests behind this […]

Bricks and mortar

Picture this: the doorbell rings and you aren’t expecting visitors.There’s a bright eyed boy standing outside with ‘salesman’ written all over him. Thank goodness, you don’t see any of the outward signs of the zealous evangelist. No short sleeved white shirt with a name tag, no brochure-laden black rucksack. Besides, they always travel in pairs. […]

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