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The EU currently has a 20% savings target for 2020 though it is not binding. But the Ukraine crisis and uncertainty in oil and gas-producing areas of the world has led to a greater political willingness to improve energy efficiency, which is directly linked with reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The incoming Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, has said a mandatory 30% target should be ‘a minimum’, while environmental organisations have been critical of the proposal to be put to October’s EU summit. Greenpeace said the proposal was ‘gutless’ and too low to ‘stand up to bullies like Putin’.
In June, seven EU member states wrote to the Commission asking for an ambitious and obligatory energy efficiency target for 2030. The Financial Times reported Denmark and Germany were seeking a 2030 savings target of 30-35%.
Among the obstacles to political acceptance of energy efficiency measures is that although they will cut costs in the long term, the measures require considerable short-term investment in better technology, insulation, etc.