Dear EU Energy Ministers,
Unaffordable energy bills. War in Europe. Accelerating climate change and biodiversity loss. It should be no surprise that these problems are all linked to our dependence on fossil fuels.
Fortunately, there is a solution: a rapid transition to a strong and flexible energy system based on sustainable renewable energy, and energy savings.
Increasing our ambition for energy transition at this critical moment will help to overcome these challenges, benefitting people and businesses alike. Energy is the force that drives our prosperity, both at home and at work. We know that significant investments in renewable energy and efficiency will deliver permanent cuts to energy bills, secure our energy supply, mitigate climate change and create green jobs.
As you meet to chart the path out of the energy crisis, you have the opportunity to demonstrate leadership and ambition by committing to targets of 50% renewable energy in the energy mix, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2030.
Rather than weakening the renewable energy target of 45%, we as businesses and civil society see the need to hold ambition high. Research has shown that 50% is both feasible and necessary. We ask for consistent policy leadership to put Europe clearly at the forefront of this important evolution in our economy.
More ambitious targets will stimulate our economies with new jobs and take the pressure off families with permanent cuts to energy bills. This increased ambition will also put us on track to stay below the 1.5°C limit for a safe climate, while respecting the wishes of the people in our democracies.
More than €108 billion and counting has flowed from the EU to Russia for fossil fuels since it invaded Ukraine, but last year the record growth of wind and solar power installed in the EU saved €11 billion on fossil gas.
Meanwhile, 87% of Europeans think “the EU should invest massively in renewable energies such as solar and wind” and “should reduce its dependency on Russian sources of energy as soon as possible”.
A clean, secure energy supply that supports a stable climate is the business of every company and community across Europe. Now is the time to seize a true win-win situation to build a more affordable, greener and more secure future for all Europeans.