Insulation firms slam EU energy efficiency plan

Eurima says Commission action plan is "step backwards" with no promise of implementation

Manufacturers of building insulation products have accused the European Commission of taking a "significant step backwards" with an energy efficiency action plan published in April (ENDS Daily 27 April). The plan does nothing more than "list measures without providing a guarantee of implementation," insulation trade association Eurima said in a statement recently.

Eurima says the Commission is threatening the EU's chances of meeting its Kyoto protocol target by failing to introduce binding measures to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing building stock. Buildings account for 40% of EU energy consumption.

The Commission's action plan on energy efficiency foresees a 12% improvement in energy efficiency by 2010, rather than the 20% improvement it originally proposed in 1990. It proposes that industry sectors should sign up to voluntary agreements to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Eurima's secretary general, Horst Biedermann, told ENDS Daily that the construction industry was too complicated for a single, EU-wide voluntary agreement, but that a directive compelling member states to tighten insulation regulations and extend them beyond new buildings to existing building stock would be a simple solution.

"We need a directive with teeth, not an action plan," said Mr Biedermann, adding that the building industry had released a study on the cost-effectiveness of large-scale improvements to buildings energy efficiency proving that it would be cheaper than other methods of reducing greenhouse gas emissions such as increasing the share of renewable energy (ENDS Daily 9 March).

Follow Up:
Eurima, tel: +32 2 626 20 90; EU energy efficiency action plan.

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