Heard in Europe

15586233042_33fd238d09_z (1)The European Commission has signalled it will increase the limits of its officials’ preliminary research for new energy efficiency laws. It had faced accusations that the lower limits it favoured effectively capped the ambition of its 2030 climate and energy targets.

EurActiv exclusively revealed two weeks ago that officials originally only intended to model the costs and benefits of greater energy efficiency to a maximum of a 33% increase by 2030.

>>Read: Commission ‘pre-emptive strike’ puts cap on EU energy efficiency targets

Such impact assessments, in this case for 2016’s revised Energy Efficiency Directive, are increasingly a precondition for EU legislation.

MEPs said limiting it to 33%, would hamper their efforts to boost the efficiency target and effectively pre-judge the legislative process.

>>Read: MEPs go on warpath over energy efficiency days before COP21

Heard in Europe has now learnt that the Commission has privately said it will model up to the 40% limit. 40% was the target pushed for by the European Parliament in a resolution before the ongoing UN Climate Change conference in Paris (COP21).

Officially, the executive says that no final decision on the modelling would be made until early next year.

But it seems that some within the Commission have moved to nip the “modelgate” controversy in the bud.

Perhaps the letter from MEPs urging Maroš Šefčovič, the Commission Vice-President in charge of Energy Union, and Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete to overule their officials did the trick.

And perhaps the ongoing COP21 has something to do with what appears to be a very political decision – rather than a technical, bureaucratic one.

Photo courtesy of the EPP Group and Flickr.

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