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Brussels, 10 March 2008

Commissioner Piebalgs welcomes energy efficiency and renewable energy agreement by European Retailers

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs welcomed the declaration of the Association of Europe's leading retailers signed today which aims at reducing energy consumption per square metre by at least 20% by 2020 and go beyond the 20% objectives put forth by the Commission directive on Renewable energy sources.

"The EU commitment to mitigate climate change doesn't only concern national governments. If we are to succeed, the commitments to reduce our CO2 emissions must also be adopted by civil society and market actors," declared Commissioner Piebalgs. "This initiative deserves all the more praise given the fact that it has been launched jointly by major actors in a fiercely competitive market," he added.

Retailers are key players in the achievement of the EU's ambitious objectives for the reduction of greenhouse emissions. Not only are they important energy consumers, they also have a huge potential to change the global energy landscape. Furthermore, consumer purchasing decisions have a decisive influence on our environmental footprint. The decision by a number of large retailers to reduce their carbon footprint and inform consumers about more environmentally respectful choices, are welcomed by the Commission as an important contribution to our fight against climate change.
The Commission will continue to follow the development of this voluntary commitment, which is also open to other parties.

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