18th Mar 2018

EU energy legislation faces resistance

With only a couple of weeks left in its six-month EU presidency, Denmark is pressing lawmakers in Brussels to finalise an energy saving deal to reduce overall energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020.

The Danish EU presidency, which made energy efficiency one of its priorities, is meeting resistance from critics who claim the plans will stifle growth by requiring costly investments.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • '[There is] a realisation that their earlier exaggerations have been damaging to [car makers'] image' (Photo: Oscar Caos)

Member states agreed in 2007 to a 20 percent reduction in energy consumption by 2020. The objective is equivalent to saving some 368 million tonnes of oil, says the European Commission.

Reuters reports that some member states believe the 20 percent target to be overly ambitious and a 10 percent reduction is more likely, however. The UK, Germany and Austria claim savings already made domestically should be taken into account in the 2020 target.

Meanwhile, the commission is in July expected to review CO2 emission targets for vehicles. According to the European Environment Agency, road transport generates about a fifth of the EU's CO2 emissions, with passenger cars responsible for around 12 percent.

To cut emissions, carmakers are supposed to produce engines by 2020 that will only emit 95 grams of CO2 per kilometre as opposed to the current norm of 140g CO2/km.

A study commissioned by Greenpeace in May in 15 member states found that drivers could expect substantial savings on annual car fuel bills if the 95g CO2/km is met.

Annual fuel costs for drivers currently varies between a low of €1,235 in Luxembourg and up to €2,143 in Sweden. The Greenpeace study found that these prices would drop to €962 in Luxembourg to €1,551 in Sweden if the 95g CO2/km goes through.

While initially showing resistance to the idea, carmakers are now on track to meet an intermediary 2015 target of 130g CO2/km, with many expected to achieve it early.

Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace’s EU transport policy expert, told EUobserver that carmakers are this time around more silent on the issue.

Achterberg suspects the silence may be because the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA), a powerful pro-industry lobby, is divided on the 2020 CO2 emissions scheme.

"Volvo has come out in favour of the 2020 target, others such as Renault and Ford are privately in support, whereas VolksWagen and others aren't – [there is] a realisation that their earlier exaggerations have been damaging to their image," she said.

Commission vice president Antonio Tajani is this week due to meet a high-level expert group, called Cars 21, representing industry experts and interests.

"We expect carmakers to complain about the economic situation and Tajani to offer a package of measures to support them," said Achterberg.

New pesticides committee begins work on EU approvals

The new European Parliament committee will try to restore citizens' trust in the procedure after the glyphosate affair. Its 30 members have some experience on pesticide issues - but different positions.

VW dismisses complaints on Dieselgate fix

'I think customers who want to get information (...) are able to receive information if they want," VW management board member Hiltrud Werner told EUobserver. Consumer groups disagree.

News in Brief

  1. Sweden emerges as possible US-North Korean summit host
  2. Google accused of paying academics backing its policies
  3. New interior minister: 'Islam doesn't belong to Germany'
  4. Hamburg 'dieselgate' driver wins case to get new VW car
  5. Slovak deputy PM asked to form new government
  6. US, Germany, France condemn 'assault on UK sovereignty'
  7. MEPs accept Amsterdam as seat for EU medicines agency
  8. Auditors: EU farm 'simplification' made subsidies more complex

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Counter BalanceConmtroversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  2. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  3. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  5. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  6. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  7. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  8. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  9. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?
  10. European Jewish CongressThe 2018 European Medal of Tolerance Goes to Prince Albert II of Monaco
  11. FiscalNoteGlobal Policy Trends: What to Watch in 2018
  12. Human Rights and Democracy NetworkPromoting Human Rights and Democracy in the Next Eu Multiannual Financial Framework

Latest News

  1. Brexit and trade will top This WEEK
  2. Dutch MPs in plan to shut EU website on Russian propaganda
  3. Four years on – but we will not forget illegally-occupied Crimea
  4. Evacuated women from Libya arrive newly-pregnant
  5. Merkel in Paris for eurozone reform talks
  6. Commission rejects ombudsman criticism over Barroso case
  7. Western allies back UK amid Russian media blitz
  8. Meet the European Parliament's twittersphere