Winter Energy Package should provide affordable and clean energy for families and companies, say S&Ds
During a plenary debate on the 'clean energy for all' package – also known as the Winter Energy Package – the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament stressed the need to be more ambitious when it comes to renewable energy and energy-efficiency targets and to ensure that all EU citizens have affordable access to sustainable heating, cooling and electricity.
S&D vice-president for sustainability, MEP Kathleen Van Brempt, said:
“It is a vast and very important set of measures that will be crucial to honour our climate agreements, transform our energy landscape and fight energy poverty.
“We are pleased to see that we finally have a binding energy-efficiency target, but as S&Ds we want to raise the target level from 30% to a more ambitious 40%. We want all buildings in Europe – not only public buildings, but also private buildings and family homes – to be efficient in order to increase the level of comfort, diminish the amount of energy used and lower the energy bills. This is not only crucial for our climate, but will also create thousands of jobs and reduce the money we spend on fossil-fuel imports.
“The cancellation of the binding national targets for renewable energy was very disappointing. We will push for a significantly more ambitious target, both at an EU level and at member state level.
“We are happy that the Commission addresses energy poverty in the package however and we as a group we will work hard to strengthen these statements, so that sustainable energy is affordable for all. Protection from extreme heat or cold is a basic right.”
S&D spokesperson on industry, research and energy, Dan Nica MEP, said:
“This package should be an opportunity to launch the transition of our industrial base. We will be able to use up to €177 billion in public and private investments from 2021. It isestimated that this effort, with the appropriate policies in place, could create 900,000 new jobs in the EU.
“The better our energy efficiency, the less dependent we will become on foreign suppliers. This will allow for huge expenditure on jobs and innovation which would otherwise be spent on buying fossil fuel from unstable regions. Right now we pay €420 billion annually for energy imports. That money would be better spent on sustainable production, boosting energy efficiency and updating our energy grids to secure clean and affordable energy for industries and citizens.”