Following two discussions of the College of Commissioners, most recently in Strasbourg on 25 October, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Vice-President Jyrki Katainen will today set out the Commission's new approach on ecodesign, at an event hosted by the European consumer organisation, BEUC.
"Ecodesign is part of the circular economy. Our Commission's aim is to support the circular economy rather than only focusing on the traditional linear economy. A circular economy is much more productive in creating added value which is important both for financing the welfare society and strengthening the social model within the European market economy. So ecodesign will also help to modernise the European economy, to be more sustainable, in terms of economic gains but also in terms of environmental gains", Katainen believes.
The College agreed, on the proposal of President Juncker, to take a package-based approach going forward and to ensure that the Commission works in particular on those products where there is a clear benefit for European consumers in terms of energy and cost savings, job creation and revenue benefits for European industry, and energy or resource efficiency which contributes to the fight against climate change and the transition to a circular economy.
Implementing the Ecodesign and Energy Labelling Directives can save Europe's consumers €490 per year on their energy bills and generate revenues of €55 billion for industry. These policies also help to deliver nearly half of the EU's energy savings targets by 2020, and one quarter of the EU's emissions reduction targets by 2020.
Today the First Vice-President and the Vice-President will present the next steps in the decision-making process and the Commission's intentions for the next Ecodesign Working Plan, including the potential contribution to our new 2030 targets and the implementation of the COP21 Paris Agreement.
"If we want to make sure we do what we need to do after the Paris agreements, we absolutely need to do ecodesign to provide for those results. In our working plan we will focus on products with the most savings potential. We recommend six new products to be included for possible ecodesign measures, like hand dryers, lifts, electric kettle and solar panels, where evidence shows that you can get the highest yield; and as BEUC said it's also part of our circular economy action plan, so we enlarge the scope and give more attention than in the past to wider resource efficiency aspects, not just energy and water use; We want to explore how to improve recyclability, durability, reparability of products, and there are some very exciting new initiatives I see in industry and the NGO community there", said Timmermans.
You can find more information about the benefits of ecodesign and energy labelling policies in this factsheet. (For more information: Anna-Kaisa Itkonen - Tel.: +32 229 56186; Tim McPhie – Tel.: +32 2 29 58602)