The Associated Press March 8, 2011, 11:09AM ET

EU plan to double energy efficiency by 2020

The European Union's executive arm is calling on the EU to double its efforts to increase energy efficiency as part of a plan to slash oil imports and carbon emissions by mid-century.

The European Commission's plan says the EU can cut emissions 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, partly by producing better household appliances, renovating public buildings and driving improved cars.

The overall goal is to cut emissions 80 percent by 2050. The plan adopted Tuesday sets milestones of 40 percent by 2030 and 60 percent by 2040.

European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard says those goals can be reached with existing technology.

The plan envisions investments of euro270 billion ($375 billion) a year, or 1.5 percent of GDP -- mostly recovered through lower oil and gas imports.

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