EU leaders agree non-binding energy efficiency target

Press release - June 17, 2010
Brussels, International — European leaders assembled in Brussels today for an EU summit agreed in principle to make Europe more energy efficient over the next decade. The leaders adopted a non-binding objective to make the EU energy system 20% more efficient under the so-called ‘Flagship Initiative Resource Efficient Europe’ of the EU 2020 strategy.

Reacting to the announcement, Greenpeace EU climate policy director Joris den Blanken said: "EU leaders agreed today that Europe needs to be smarter about energy and waste less. Energy efficiency will save money, create jobs and reduce carbon emissions, but this will only work if the EU adopts a binding target."

In debates on budget consolidation, EU leaders however failed to consider the benefits linked to an upgrade of the EU 2020 carbon emission reduction targets from 20% to 30%. Den Blanken continued: "More ambition on climate would generate jobs and billions of euros that could help governments reduce mounting budget deficits. Upgrading the EU's climate target to 30% would raise additional income of nearly €70 billion from carbon trading alone."

For a breakdown of how much each EU member state could benefit from the carbon market under a higher climate target, go to