07 December 2022

“Commit to higher ambition on energy,” EU ministers told by over 100 businesses and NGOs

Brussels, 7 December 2022 – More than 100 businesses and civil society organisations are urging European energy ministers to commit to higher 2030 energy targets – 50 percent renewables, and 20 percent efficiency – as the only realistic win-win solution to address the triple-crisis of high bills, energy insecurity, and the climate emergency.

The Higher Ambition Now call comes at a crucial moment when European energy ministers are meeting to decide on 2030 targets for renewable energy and energy efficiency, and as the Czech presidency has proposed watering down ambition. 

Patagonia, B Lab Europe, NetGuru, Weleda, Waterbear and other businesses have partnered on this action with groups from civil society networks CAN Europe and Europe Beyond Coal in response to concerns that ministers are considering targets that will significantly slow down the rollout of renewables at this critical time for European energy security.

As energy bills increase dramatically, across Europe, businesses and individuals alike face hard choices. Setting more ambitious, binding 2030 targets of 50 percent sustainable renewables in the energy mix and a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency are necessary (1) to pivot away from expensive and volatile fossil fuels, greatly reduce energy prices and create much-needed green jobs. A 50 percent renewable energy target would see EU countries avoid an additional €48 billion in gas costs in 2030, compared to the Fit For 55 target of 40 percent, according to Ember (2).

Beth Thoren, Director of Environmental Initiatives & Action, Patagonia said: “At this crucial moment, we cannot afford to lower our ambition and slide backwards on the path to clean energy. A growing movement of progressive businesses are using our voices, our buying power and our resources to accelerate the renewable energy transformation. We are asking our energy ministers to commit to more ambitious targets that will create certainty for business, green jobs for workers, and affordable energy for everyone. That’s what’s needed to make real progress on climate action.

Artur Patuleia, Senior Associate, E3G said: “Higher renewable energy and energy efficiency ambition is key to quickly reducing tensions on global gas markets, the main driver of inflation. With the Eurobarometer indicating that 87 percent of Europeans support ‘massive investments’ in renewable energies, EU governments should have confidence in backing higher renewable energy and energy efficiency targets, showing a determined commitment to increase the EU’s energy security and address the energy price crisis”. 

The full joint statement text can be found at https://higherambitionnow.eu 

Signatories

Businesses and business networks: 

Altamedinet GmbH, amp GmbH, Aninsu, Blue Tomato, B Lab Europe, B Lab Germany, Creatives for Climate, Einhorn Products GmbH, Ecosia, Elements, Enpal, EWS Elektrizitätswerke Schönau eG, Fairpension, Flawsome! drinks, Fors.earth, Fusion Associates, GENUI GmbH, GLS Bank, Gravning GmbH, Innate Motion, La Sportiva, Montura, Nativa, Nativve, Netguru S.A., No PB GmbH, Nunc Sustainability Consulting, One More Agency, Patagonia, Peerigon GmbH, PNZ-Produkte GmbH, Redeleit und Junker GmbH, Revent, Seismic, Sensei Consulting, share, SMRZ Agency, soulbottles, soulproducts GmbH, Sport Conrad, Sporthaus Schuster GmbH, Startnext GmbH, Steppenwolf e.U., Supersola, Sustainable Growth Associates GmbH, tbd* – The Changer GmbH, TerGo/ Terra Sp. z o. o., TheDive GmbH, Turek, Unique-U Coaching, WaterBear, WAYSA, Weleda AG, WEtell GmbH

Civil society organisations: 

350.org, Aarhus Center in BiH, Asociatia ARIN,CAN Europe, Clean Air Action Group, CLER-Réseau pour la transition énergétique (France), ClientEarth, DOOR, E3G, ECODES, ECOS (Environmental Coalition on Standards), EcoUnion, EiiF – European Industrial Insulation Foundation, EKO-UNIA, EKOenergy Ecolabel, Ember, Estonian Green Movement, European Environmental Bureau, Focus Association for Sustainable Development, Friends of the Earth, Friends of the Earth Bulgaria Za Zemiata, Friends of the Earth Ireland, Genç Düşünce Enstitüsü, Green Liberty, International Network for Sustainable Energy – Europe, Legambiente, PowerShift e.V., REScoop.eu, Skift Business Climate Leaders, Solar Impulse Foundation, The Climate Reality Project Europe, VsI Ziedine Ekonomika, WeMove Europe, ZERO Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

Louise Brierley-Ingham
PR and public affairs, EMEA, Patagonia
[email protected] 

Artur Patuleia
Senior Associate, Fossil Fuel Transition, E3G
[email protected]

References:

  1. CAN Europe and The European Environmental Bureau’s Paris Agreement Compatible (PAC) scenario shows that increasing both the binding EU renewable energy target to at least 50 percent and the energy efficiency target to at least 20 percent (compared to the EU Reference Scenario 2020) by 2030 is needed to put Europe on a pathway that is fit for the 1.5DegC climate goal. https://caneurope.org/building-a-paris-agreement-compatible-pac-energy-scenario 
  2. Ember report: Small Step Up for Renewables, Giant Fall for Gas (7th December 2022) demonstrates that increasing the EU renewables target to 45% by 2030 would halve fossil gas imports and save €43 billion in 2030 alone. Across the period from 2025 to 2030 this could amount to an estimated €200 billion in additional savings. For 50% renewables, the savings increase to €48 billion in 2030. https://ember-climate.org/insights/research/small-step-up-for-renewables-giant-fall-for-gas
  3. According to Eurobarometer 87 percent of Europeans think “the EU should invest massively in renewable energies such as solar and wind”. https://europa.eu/eurobarometer/surveys/detail/2693 
  4. Almost €123 billion from EU countries has flowed to Russia for fossil fuels since it invaded Ukraine. If such amounts had been spent on renewable energy sources or energy savings programmes, an additional 1.5 million solar homes, 3,800 onshore wind turbines, 1.9 million heat pumps, or 560,000 more homes could have been insulated. https://beyond-coal.eu/russian-fossil-fuel-tracker  
  5. Wind and solar power in the EU grew by a record 39 TWh year-on-year compared to 2021, helping countries avoid buying eight billion cubic metres of additional fossil gas since Russia invaded Ukraine, and saving €11 billion.
  6. Governments in Europe have earmarked nearly half a trillion euros over the last year to compensate for the soaring gas and power prices. This is a totally unsustainable waste that would be unnecessary with strong action on renewables and energy savings.

About: 

The Higher Ambition Now campaign is organised by Patagonia Europe, Europe Beyond Coal, and CAN Europe, to bring organisations and businesses together in support of greater ambition on Europe’s energy transformation, from EU decision makers. 

https://higherambitionnow.eu

 

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