Dear Prime Minister Fiala,
We – the European citizens, businesses, industry leaders, civil society organisations- are uniting in our call for EU and National policy makers to commit to higher ambition that will help alleviate the impact of the current energy price crisis through enhancing our energy security while also delivering our Paris climate commitments. Ahead of the trilogue negotiations starting this month, we are calling for higher EU binding targets in the Energy Efficiency (EED) and Renewable Energy (RED) Directives in order to rapidly improve energy savings and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy across Europe.
A winter of energy uncertainty approaches and there is now an urgent need for short-term solutions that address the current energy price crisis and the soaring cost of living, which is being felt by homes, communities and businesses across the country. This is on top of the dangerous summer heatwaves and the recent flash floods in Italy brought on by the climate emergency. As well as fueling Russia’s war in Ukraine, our overdependence on fossil fuels has been the root cause of these crises. As President Von der Leyen pointed out in her State of the Union Address last month, the dependency of Russian fossil fuels comes at a high price and we have to get rid of this dependency all over Europe.
Last June, the Energy Council supported the European Commission’s proposal for targets in July 2021, as part of the Fit For 55 Package. These targets were proposed before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the Energy Council’s endorsement of these targets already failed to recognise the looming climate emergency, and now fail to recognise the current energy price crisis. As part of the ongoing discussions on the EED and RED revisions, EU MemberStates need to support increased sustainable energy targets. The targets endorsed by the EU Parliament are a step in the right direction, but there is also demand to go for higher targets that will give the right signals for increased support and investments for the roll-out of sustainable renewables and energy savings measures. Increased energy targets will help lower our dependency on Russian fossil gas, enhance member states’ energy security – shield homes, communities and businesses from skyrocketing energy bills, as well as the worsening impacts of the climate crisis, for safe winters and summers.
Inaction from our governments is proving costly. Rapidly improving energy savings and accelerating the deployment of sustainable renewable energy will not only help protect people from the high energy price increases in this coming decade, but will address the larger, looming climate emergency that will affect the current and future generations for decades to come. Now is the time for key EU decision makers and member states to put us on a path to an energy secure, climate-neutral, safer Europe.