Energy and environmental policies are closely linked. All energy production and consumption has environmental impacts. Whilst it is often tempting to overlook the environment during difficult economic times, the challenges of producing and using energy resources sustainably and protecting our natural environment equally represent an opportunity to pursue sustainable economic growth.

In many regards energy and environmental objectives go hand in hand, such as:


    • energy efficiency and reducing energy use: saving energy can help reducing GHG emissions, air pollution, impacts to surface. The EU has put forward several measures to improve efficiency at all stages of the energy chain and it is aiming for a 20% cut in Europe's annual primary energy consumption by 2020 (read more).
    • measures to increase the share of sustainable renewable energy sources in the energy mix can lower overall environmental and climatic pressures compared to other forms of energy. Such measures can also contribute to improved resource efficiency.
    • Measures aiming at using resources in a more efficient way also contribute to reducing energy demand: this is in particular the case when products are re-used, materials recycled, when all production and consumption chains are organized in a more efficient way.  


EU environmental legislation and the Commission's Resource Efficiency agenda are there to ensure that EU policies make the most of all the potential for reducing risks and impacts of resource and energy consumption.