Will EU leaders pick a winner… for energy security?

New report: ambitious efficiency & renewables targets could slash imports by 45 per cent more than EU plans

Press release - June 25, 2014
Brussels – As EU leaders consider measures to improve Europe’s energy security at a summit in Brussels, a new report has exposed European Commission plans as woefully inadequate to cut reliance on energy imports, said Greenpeace. The report released today shows that strong EU commitments on renewables and energy efficiency could reduce the need for imports by 45 per cent more in 2030 than under the EU’s existing plans [1].

During the summit on Thursday and Friday, EU leaders are due to consider a draft energy security plan [2] and climate and energy proposals by the European Commission. The Commission is proposing that the EU should cut its carbon emissions by 40 per cent and achieve a share of renewable energy of 27 per cent by 2030.

However, more stringent EU 2030 targets to achieve a 45 per cent share of renewables, 40 per cent energy savings (compared to 2005) and a 55 per cent cut in domestic carbon emissions (compared to 1990) could reduce overall annual imports of fossil fuels by at least 45 per cent compared to Commission plans. This represents a 35 per cent cut in gas imports and a 45 per cent cut in oil imports. Coal imports would cease altogether before the end of the next decade.

The Commission is now said to be considering an energy efficiency target for 2030. A recently leaked analysis confirms that ambitious policies on energy efficiency would lower energy imports significantly, while generating wider economic benefits [3]. In a letter sent to the Commission last week, ministers from Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Luxembourg also called on the Commission to propose an ambitious and binding 2030 energy efficiency target by this July [4]. In February, the European Parliament endorsed a 40 per cent 2030 efficiency target [5].

Greenpeace EU energy and transport policy director Franziska Achterberg said: “After months of half-hearted responses, EU leaders have an opportunity to move things forward on energy security. But when everyone agrees that saving energy is a no-brainer for security and for the climate, you’ve got to ask yourself what’s standing in the way. It’s no secret that energy companies feed Europe’s dependence on energy imports. It’s time for EU leaders to show they won’t relinquish control to the oligarchs of this world."

Greenpeace energy expert and lead author of the report Sven Teske said: “Every Euro spent on renewables is an investment in security of supply and job security. A combination of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency is not only good for the climate, it is also the best recipe to improve EU energy security. Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels and costly and insecure imports are two sides of the same coin.”

The report [6] commissioned by Greenpeace and based on research by DLR, the German Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, develops two energy scenarios: one based on the Commission’s 2030 plans and one based on a more ambitious policy framework for 2030.



[1] Greenpeace briefing, New report shines light on EU summit discussions on energy
, June 2014.

[2] Greenpeace press comment, 28 May 2014

[3] EnergyDesk, Why does energy efficiency matter for European energy security?, 18 June 2014.

[4] Letter by governments in support of a binding EU 2030 energy efficiency target, 18 June 2014.

[5] European Parliament resolution, 4 February 2014.

[6] Greenpeace report, A roadmap towards a sustainable and independent energy supply for Europe, June 2014.


Franziska Achterberg – Greenpeace EU energy and transport policy director: +32 (0)498 362403

Sven Teske – Greenpeace International energy expert and lead author of the report: +49 (0)171 8787552, 


Greenpeace EU pressdesk: +32 (0)2 274 1911, 


For breaking news and comment on EU affairs: www.twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU


Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.