Summary: This report reveals that Central and Eastern European countries are using at least twice the energy used by the previous 15 EU member states for each unit of economic output. Along with six other non-governmental organisations, WWF, the global conservation organisation, has launched a report that shows that the level of wasted energy in the five countries analysed will in the future continue to exceed the levels of the EU-15 members unless bold energy efficiency measures are taken in the EU. In addition, WWF warns that not tackling energy inefficiency issues will not help the EU in achieving its short and long-term climate protection goals. The report analyses the energy sectors of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia. It highlights that, for example, the Czech Republic in 2000 used nearly five times the energy the EU-15 would use for each euro of GDP. Slovakia was the worst performer with energy spending of more than five times (5.2) compared to the EU-15. Hungary and Poland got scores of respectively 3.0 and 3.7 higher, while Slovenia scored 1.9. The report highlights that in preparing the Central and Eastern European countries for accession to the EU, negotiations have focused mainly on market liberalisation and new investment in power generation and transmission infrastructure, with insufficient attention given to the huge and cost-effective opportunities to reduce inefficient use of energy. In some cases, existing policies for energy efficiency were scrapped as a result of accession to the EU. The Czech Republic, for example, abolished a tax reduction scheme meant to encourage the purchase of the most efficient appliances on the market. The 40-page report also points out that despite massive financial resources from structural funds - over the period 2004-6, u008022 billion have been earmarked for new members - there is little indication that energy efficiency will be prioritised. Structural funds have largely been used to date for investments in new infrastructures, electricity and g
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