The European Commission's postponement of the adoption of the action plan on energy efficiency has raised questions about its commitment to one of the main priorities of the new European energy policy.

The Commission is having internal discussions on the adoption of the energy-savings plan.

According to an article in ENDS Daily on Monday 25 September, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs are at loggerheads over the plan, with the President being concerned about the messages coming out of the proposal. The plan aims to save 20% of Europe's energy consumption by 2020. ENDS even suggested that "there is a strong chance that it [the action plan] will be dropped entirely".

The energy-efficiency action plan was supposed to be adopted at the beginning of September but was postponed twice "because of administrative planning reasons" (according to the Commission's spokesperson at that time). Spokesperson Ferran Tarradellas now admits that there were indeed "political motivations" behind the postponement, but insists that there is "no disagreement" between the president and the energy commissioner.

Green NGOs are worried that the EU's commitment to energy efficiency is weakened down as a result of the "power-industry lobby", which is demanding more supply-side measures (new nuclear, carbon capture and storage).

"The Commission does not seem to trust its own analysis anymore that it can save up to 20% of energy consumption," said Stephan Singer, of WWF's European Policy Office.


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