[Brussels, February 28, 2012] – Today the European Parliament's Industry, Trade and Research Committee (ITRE) voted in support of a binding 20% energy savings target as part of the ongoing Energy Efficiency Directive discussions. Green groups CAN Europe and EEB urge national governments to support the MEPs' vision for binding national targets, energy company obligations and deep building renovations.
"Today's result is not perfect, but it gives MEPs a strong mandate for negotiating with national governments," commented Erica Hope, Senior Policy Officer at CAN Europe. "Strong measures and targets will help deliver the needed savings to people and businesses."
The Commission's Energy Roadmap 2050  underlines how Europe's key objectives of decarbonisation, energy security and competitiveness cannot be achieved without curbing our energy demand.
"This Directive is a key opportunity to depart from the current situation in which utility companies have a structural interest in selling ever more energy," said Agathe Ernoult, EEB's Energy Policy Officer. "Changing this business model is the only way to address the increasing financial and environmental costs of producing energy. We urge decision makers to live up to the challenge," Ernoult continued.
Without a strong Energy Efficiency Directive the EU will fail to meet its 2020 energy savings target by at least half.  Meeting the target could create up to 2 million new jobs across Europe and cut CO2 emissions by 740 million tonnes per year, equivalent to the annual emissions of 16 coal-fired power plants. It could also save households €1,000 per year on their energy bills and give Europe a substantial share in the growing global market for energy efficiency products and services. 
Negotiations with national governments will begin in the coming weeks.
 The EU set a 2020 target of saving 20% of its primary energy consumption compared to projections, as identified in the Commission's Communication on Energy 2020, as a key step towards achieving its long-term energy and climate goals.
 An NGO briefing on the Energy Efficiency Directive can be found here.
CAN Europe is recognized as Europe's leading network working on climate and energy issues. With over 150 members in 27 European countries, CAN-E unites to work to prevent dangerous climate change and promote sustainable energy and environment policy in Europe.
Created in 1974, the EEB is now Europe's largest federation of environmental organisations with more than 140 member organisations who gain their membership from the general public. Because of this, we are guided by the voices of 15 million European citizens, and act as the ears and voice of our members towards the EU decision makers.