The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has lashed out at the new EU Energy Efficiency Directive that was agreed upon by the European Parliament, Council and Commission yesterday. The WWF is claiming that it failed to implement the measures needed to reach the EU’s 2020 20pc energy savings target.
Arianna Vitali, policy officer for Energy Conservation at the WWF European policy office, claimed that the Council "substantially watered down text from the Commission and especially the Parliament".
"This deal reflects neither the ambition nor the urgency needed to put the EU on the right path towards 2020," said Vitali.
She went on to say that the Directive will "substantially miss the huge benefits" that energy savings could bring in terms of job creation, reductions in energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions cuts.
"Member States need to wake up and realise that this deal is just one small step in creating the robust energy efficiency policies needed for the future", added Vitali.
Conversely, Ireland’s Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte,TD, who is in Luxembourg today, has welcomed the EU Directive.
Speaking at a meeting of EU Energy Ministers in Luxembourg, Rabbitte said that the Directive will mean that Ireland will be obliged to upgrade 3pc of its public buildings, including schools, hospitals and courts, every year.
"The knock-on impacts of improving the energy efficiency of all areas of our economy are reduced energy prices, increased competitiveness at a global level, and perhaps most importantly, the provision of more secure, sustainable jobs nationally," he said.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the Energy Efficiency Directive will allow for a more stable regulatory framework to entice industry to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
It said the new measures should spur on growth in the skilled trades and construction sectors here in Ireland.
Another aspect of the directive is that energy companies will also be now obliged to help their customers save energy through building insulation and using energy efficient appliances.
"The role of energy suppliers will be crucial to delivering our ambitious national efficiency targets. We will now see more choice and competition for energy consumers and I am confident that our energy service companies will meet that challenge. We can all reap the benefits of sustainable employment, growth and future investment," said Rabbitte today from Luxembourg.
To see the Energy Directive in full, click here.
EU and renewable energy image via Shutterstock