Energy Saving EU Legislation Faces Resistance image

Denmark puts pressure on lawmakers in Brussels to complete an energy saving deal according to which overall energy consumption will be reduced by 20% until 2020.

It is well known that the Danish EU presidency made energy efficiency one of its main goals, but critics believe that this plan will slow down growth by requiring costly investments. In 2007 state members agreed to a 20% decrease in energy consumption by 2020, the objective being equivalent to saving up to 68 million tonnes of oil. Some members believe that 20% is very ambitious and that 10% would be the appropriate percentage.

The European Environment Agency states that road transport generates around a fifth of the EU’s CO2 emissions, passenger cars being responsible for 12%. In July the commission will meet again to review CO2 emission targets for vehicles. In order to cut emissions automakers have to produce by 2020 engines that emit only 95 grams of CO2/km, from the current norm of 140g CO2/km. If this target is met drivers could see substantial savings on car fuel bills annually.

Annually drivers pay around €1,235 in Luxembourg and up to €2,143 in Sweden for fuel. Greenpeace said that these costs could be reduced to €962 in Luxembourg and to €1,551 in Sweden if the 95g CO2/km target is met. Automakers are trying for now to reach 130g CO2/km by 2015.

Franziska Achterberg, Greenpeace’s EU transport policy expert, declared that automakers are currently quiet concerning this issue.