[IEECP newsletter] November 2021: annual report, opinion & blogs, as well as a focus on tools

As COP26 ends in Glasgow, IEECP is glad to be working in projects supporting a just energy transition and providing exciting tools for all to join the action.

The European Commission published mid-July a new European legislative package, “Fit-for-55“, to strengthen the measures aimed at reaching the new target of 55% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.

The presentation of these revisions or new measures underlined the importance of mitigating the possible distributive effects, mainly because of the proposal to extend the CO2 quota system to the transport and buildings sectors. The Commission is therefore proposing the creation of a Social Climate Fund, funded by revenues from CO2 quotas.

Likewise, the proposed revision of the Energy Efficiency Directive strengthens or creates several provisions to fight energy poverty and protect vulnerable consumers. A new obligation is imposed on Member States to achieve a minimum part of their energy savings target with energy-poor households, vulnerable customers and, where applicable, people living in social housing. The focus of the targets on these groups, as also highlighted by our ENSMOV project, can enhance the role of energy efficiency as key policy to alleviate energy poverty.

The variety of views and perceptions of Member States on the Fit-for-55 package reinforces the interest in the exchange of experiences between European countries, projects and organisations. It is already obvious that there is a split between how Member States react to the ongoing energy crisis: some grasp the opportunity to further accelerate the energy transition, while others consider fossil fuels as the solution to the problem (including lignite, gas and oil).

In this edition of our newsletter, we highlight the just-launched energy justice information and action hub, developed by ENPOR, several tools simplifying the transition to more efficient industry systems for cold chains of the food and beverage sectors by ICCEE and another toolkit, produced by BECoop, a set of tools useful for the energy communities and bioenergy sectors. More tools are now available through our website.

We find interesting to develop, more and more, collaboration or what can sometimes be called “sister projects group” in these Horizon 2020 projects: so far, exciting collaborations have emerged such as a recent EUSEW event for increased energy efficiency in SMEs (with a briefing in preparation) or a presentation at the Sustainable places conference on energy communities business models (the proceedings are at a final stage).

We are hopeful for the future that all this is what will generate robust scientific knowledge to help policy makers in undertaking the correct decisions as the climate change time is ticking against humanity. Europe should and must be a frontrunner in this attempt, making use of science-based policy and avoiding biases of the previous century towards subsidizing fossil fuels. The enormous amount of work from all scientific and technical experts on the financing criteria for sustainable investments should not lose the scientific integrity (through allowing fossil fuels) and undermine the credibility of the climate effort of the EU in the Green Taxonomy Rules. The Technical Guidance of the Climate Proofing of Investments in new infrastructures alongside with the adoption of the Energy Efficiency Principle (as shown in our enefirst project) can change the way of thinking and trigger the correct decisions for the future in all EU Member States.

As George Bernard Shaw said ““Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”

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