Energy efficiency directive should promote green growth

It is important for the forest industry that energy consumption and the growth of the economy are not capped by the energy efficiency directive. There is already an adequate, binding EU-wide greenhouse gas target. Therefore, the overlapping and binding energy efficiency target is not needed.

The EU Energy efficiency directive (EED) is being reviewed. The EU Commission published on 30 November 2016 a revised energy efficiency directive proposal as part of the winter package. The Commission proposed a binding 30% EU-level energy efficiency target for 2030, which is much more stringent than the expected indicative 27% target decided by the European Council in autumn 2014.

The possible binding energy efficiency target would lead to mandatory energy consumption reductions at the EU level. A binding energy consumption cap of this nature would be disastrous. The growing economy and bio-economy will lead to higher energy consumption. Especially in the case of the forest industry, the needed energy demand increase is usually covered by the new renewable energy capacity. The binding energy consumption cap would ruin the growth of the economy and new jobs. This cap would also weaken green growth and lead to increasing imports from outside the EU. This would be the exact opposite result the EU is currently aiming for with its growth and jobs policy.

The industry needs a stable business environment that supports growth and competitiveness. Member States and companies must have the freedom and flexibility to choose the locally smartest methods to achieve the binding greenhouse gas target. The EU policy must favour the growth of climate friendly and efficient industry in Europe. Therefore, energy consumption must not be capped at the EU-wide or Member State level. The artificial cap would paralyse green growth.

The national energy efficiency agreement system has been a comprehensive and successful system with excellent results in Finland. It is important that a tool like this is an acceptable method to promote and report energy efficiency improvements in the future, too.

Additional information

Tuomas Tikka

Senior Adviser, Energy

+358 45 131 6683