Wed Sep 13th, 2006 at 07:03:01 AM EST
EurActiv.com reports that the Commission is to unveil a plan based on the Green Paper on Energy Efficiency:
A draft of the plan dated 19 June, of which EurActiv has obtained a copy, says "ambitious implementation of existing legislation and new actions" are needed to slash energy consumption in the EU.
However, action needs to reach all sectors of the economy - public sector, households and businesses - if the effects are going to be felt, it says. "Many complementary actions are needed" to produce "the lasting institutions, technical and behavioural changes and market transformations necessary to improve energy-efficiency," the draft reads.
The document spreads action over six years (2007-2012) and consists of four pillars:
- Behavioural change with awareness campaigns targeted at consumers and the larger public;
- legal instruments to ensure existing EU laws are used to their "full potential" with a possible revision of targets;
- financial instruments including tax incentives and using sources of financing such as the EU's regional funds, and;
- global aspects including trade and development policy, international agreements and treaties to disseminate and export cleaner technologies.
Two sectors are covered in a more particular way, although little detail was yet available:
The Commission will impose European carmakers to reduce CO2 emissions if it becomes clear that the voluntary target of 140g CO2/km is not met by 2008. The agreement is "not on track", says the document, with emissions "far from the target of 120g CO2/km in 2012".
other initiatives include: a new framework directive on energy-efficiency in transport; incentives for hybrid and fuel cell cars; differentiated excise tax rates according to fuel efficiency; car sharing schemes; road pricing / congestion taxes; speed control limiters; progressive insurance premium; modal shift in urban areas; traffic optimisation using the Gallileo satellite positioning system; state aid for eco-design by manufacturers, and; the promotion of Flex Fuel cars that can run on a higher mix of biofuels.
- Energy transformation sector:
A study is foreseen to explore the feasibility of minimum efficiency standards for new power stations.
Improving efficiency standards in coal-fired power plants is also a possibility being explored.
The target is to save Europe 20% in energy consumption by 2020 against the background of increasing GDP.