Without bold energy efficiency policies, it will be impossible to reach the goals articulated in the Paris Agreement. This is the main finding of authors from the Regulatory Assistance Project, Öko-Institut, and Stefan Scheuer Consulting, who identified the impact of Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive on the EU’s climate targets. Their new brief poses the question of how important energy efficiency is for achieving the EU’s climate goals in the sectors not covered by the emissions trading system, or the “non-ETS sectors.”

The brief illustrates the comparative impacts of the various proposals currently in the trilogues, or three-way discussions, between the European Council, the European Parliament, and the European Commission. Our analysis shows that the EU, as a whole, cannot meet its 2030 climate targets for the non-ETS sectors without keeping the level of ambition for Article 7 of the Energy Efficiency Directive proposed by the European Commission. The data further indicates that 16 out of 28 Member States would not achieve their individual, indicative 2030 targets for the non-ETS sector without Article 7. This number drops to 13 if the European Commission’s proposal for Article 7 is adopted fully and to only eight if the European Parliament’s proposal is assumed. Meeting the Paris Agreement will require more, not less ambition on energy efficiency. Steeper and quicker cuts in greenhouse gas emissions are possible if the EU adopts a strong Article 7.