Energy savings through the Covenant of Mayors could be a key contributor to Europe's energy security
On 28 May, the European Commission published its energy security strategy. The strategy is in response to the political crisis in the Ukraine, which has put an emphasis on the need to have stable supplies of energy for the EU. Actions have been proposed in order to ensure uninterrupted supplies during the winter of 2014-15. Better energy efficiency is among the key actions proposed in the strategy, and cities have been recognised for their role in contributing to this.
If accelerated, the work undertaken by cities in developing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) for the Covenant of Mayors initiative is seen to be able to produce significant short term energy savings. With buildings accounting for 40% of energy consumption and one third of natural gas use, cities have a major contribution to make to this work. In addition, their actions to limit urban traffic and generate energy savings in the transport sector will contribute to the strategy.
When it comes to long term energy security, energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has called for a new legally binding proposal for this autumn to cut energy use by 2030. However, as there is an ongoing debate on this issue, a final decision on the proposal is expected in October 2014.
You can find the European Energy Security Strategy here.
Find out more about the Covenant of Mayors, through which signatories aim to exceed the EU's 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020, here: www.covenantofmayors.eu