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EPEE calls for more ambitious cooling efficiency targets

EUROPE: EPEE has welcomed the increased headline targets in the European Commission’s “Fit for 55” legislative package published today, but calls for more ambitious policies on heating and cooling efficiency.

The European Commission’s package of proposals are designed to make the EU’s climate, energy, land use, transport and taxation policies fit for reducing net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Achieving these emission reductions in the next decade is seen as crucial to Europe becoming the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050 and making the European Green Deal a reality.

EPEE views the proposals for increased targets as “a crucial step to achieve climate neutrality by 2050”, but regrets that there were not more ambitious measures proposed to accelerate the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector.

In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% in 2030, the Commission has proposed more ambitious binding targets of a 36% reduction in final energy consumption and a 40% share in renewable energy by 2030. The move is welcomed by EPEE, but is critical of the new 2030 energy efficiency target falls short of the cost-effective final energy savings potential of at least 40%.

In addition, EPEE believes even more ambitious measures could have been proposed to accelerate the decarbonisation of the heating and cooling sector, which currently represents roughly half of the final energy consumption in Europe. Phasing out fossil fuels in the sector and replacing the current heating and cooling stock with highly efficient and renewable-based solutions through all viable regulatory means is imperative to reach 55% GHG reduction by 2030.

EPEE believes that in order to accelerate the decarbonisation of heating and cooling, a sectoral efficiency target should have been introduced, which would ensure that Member States dedicate the required attention to the decarbonisation opportunities in the sector.

In addition, EPEE urges consistency in the upcoming review of the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). “Promoting energy efficient and renewable heating and cooling solutions in all renovations through minimum energy performance standards and other means is crucial,” it says. 

“EU Ecodesign and Energy Labelling rules must also do their part to ensure that fossil-based appliances are no longer placed on the market.

“We now call on the EU Council and European Parliament to match the ambition of the European Commission proposals, and even surpass it for the decarbonisation of heating and cooling. The technologies are available to provide Europe’s heating and cooling needs without fossil fuels. Deploying them widely and quickly throughout Europe requires bold and comprehensive policies’ said Jürgen Fischer, EPEE chairman and president of Danfoss Climate Solutions.

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