Photo: Guillaume Perigois via Unsplash

Press release | 07.02.2024

Too much room to hide – Energy savings must underpin the EU’s proposed 2040 targets

Thomas Brose, Executive Director of Climate Alliance comments on the Commission’s proposal for a 90% 2040 climate target to keep the EU on track for reaching climate neutrality by 2050.

“How we reach any interim climate target matters. As a network of municipalities working tirelessly to reduce emissions in a comprehensive and equitable way, we find it critical that energy savings lie at the heart of the EU’s emissions reductions. The most sustainable energy is that which goes unused and this approach will ultimately prove to be the most cost-efficient, direct path towards our climate goals.

This means weaning society off of fossil fuels to avoid emissions in the first place, not relying on technologies that aim to recapture emissions already produced. It means avoiding energy consumption so as to dampen grid peaks, not turning to controversial and potentially perilous technologies like nuclear energy that only seem to be ‘emissions free’. It means cutting emissions at their source and not relying on carbon offsets. And it means supporting resilient, decentralised, renewable systems that can produce energy closer to where it is needed.

If we do not prioritise energy savings first and the covering of remaining demand with sustainable, decentralised, renewable energy, the EU will certainly miss its 2050 goals altogether. Worse, we may just achieve them thanks only to creative accounting practices on a socially unjust trajectory that favours the profits of multinationals over society as a whole.”

Learn more about the EU's proposed target