EU seeks carbon cuts through energy saving

Commission proposes binding national efficiency targets, duty on suppliers to market energy services

A draft directive on energy efficiency and energy services issued by the European Commission on Wednesday proposes binding targets on member states to save 1% per year of all energy supplied between 2006 and 2012 compared with business-as-usual. It estimates that the targeted 6% total energy saved by 2012 would "contribute almost half of the CO2 emissions reduction" needed to comply with the EU's Kyoto protocol target.

All types of energy and all sectors would be covered by the target, except energy-intensive industries, which are already covered by other legislation, and air and maritime transport - "for measurement reasons". An outline of the plans emerged at a conference last month (EED 26/11/03).

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