Letters

The European Green Deal must be the compass to repower the EU

Joint open statement

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The image shows a sunflower field with a windmill.
Windmill in a sunflower field in Barbate, Spain. Photo by Gustavo Quepón on Unsplash.

E3G and 11 other business and civil society organisations urge all EU and national leaders to reaffirm their commitment to the European Green Deal in their upcoming RePowerEU and ‘Fit for 55’ decisions. The joint statement is signed by E3G, Global Witness, ECCO, CEE Bankwatch Network, ECOS, Eurima, Schneider Electric, smartEn, Europan Heat Pump Association, EuropeOn, EU ASE, and Flow Batteries Europe.

Measures to effectively deliver the EU’s decarbonisation are identical to those that can stop EU financing of Putin’s war (around €60bn since the beginning of the conflict). The upcoming REPowerEU package should be an important step forward in creating the regulatory tools to achieve multiple objectives. The upcoming votes on the ‘Fit for 55’ legislation must reaffirm the EU commitment to the EU Green Deal and up the stakes to effectively respond to the ongoing crises.

The disproportionate focus on imported Liquified Natural Gas increases the risks of shifting (rather than decreasing) the dependency and of committing to new long-term contracts incompatible with the energy transition. Member States have recently raised awareness of the fact that it is not just about getting alternative supplies, it is also about decreasing consumption. Reducing gas demand gives the EU the chance to liberate itself from geopolitical ties that are holding it back in its transition to a stronger, resilient, and sustainable economy. Within 3 years alone, the energy consumption equivalent to two-thirds of RU gas demand can already be eliminated via energy efficiency and the smart management of energy demand, renewables, electrification and digitalisation.

This requires prompt implementation and increased ambition for ongoing activities, including the ‘Fit For 55’ proposals. With the right regulatory tools in place, our industries can deliver higher energy efficiency, reduction of heating and cooling energy demand with scaled-up buildings renovation, larger and frontloaded solar and wind roll-out, mass deployment of heat pump solutions, electrification of the transport sector, green hydrogen for hard-to-electrify sectors (including feedstocks), and digitalisation of buildings to reach a zero-emissions stock by 2050. All these will benefit an integrated, resilient and sustainable energy system – both for electricity, thermal management as well as transport sectors.

As we approach an intense flow of important political moments for the REPowerEU and EU Green Deal agendas, this joint statement seeks to raise attention to the following recommendations:

  1. Establish an Energy Resilience task force, with a specific focus on the efficiency first principle and the ‘Fit for 55’ accelerated adoption and implementation.
  2. Diversify to open, not close options in the future.
  3. Mobilise financial resources for clean alternatives to gas.
  4. Empower the most vulnerable to participate in the clean energy transition.
  5. Set out an agenda to scale up flexible resources, such as demand-side flexibility and energy storage, in line with net-zero 2035 power sector objective.  

Read the full joint statement here.

More detailed recommendations can be found in the annex.

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