Thursday, January 11, 2007

New Energy Policy For Europe To Reduce GHG

Jan 10/11: The European Commission proposed a comprehensive package of measures to establish a new Energy Policy for Europe to combat climate change and boost the EU's energy security and competitiveness. The package of proposals set a series of ambitious targets on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and renewable energy and aim to create a true internal market for energy and strengthen effective regulation. The Commission believes that when an international agreement is reached on the post-2012 framework this should lead to a 30% cut in emissions from developed countries by 2020. To further underline its commitment the Commission proposes that the European Union commits now to cut GHG emissions by at least 20% by 2020, in particular through energy measures.

Commission President José Manuel Barroso said: "Today marks a step change for the European Union. Energy policy was a core area at the start of the European project. We must now return it to centre stage. The challenges of climate change, increasing import dependence and higher energy prices are faced by all EU members. A common European response is necessary to deliver sustainable, secure and competitive energy. The proposals put forward by the Commission today demonstrate our commitment to leadership and a long-term vision for a new Energy Policy for Europe that responds to climate change. We must act now, to shape tomorrow's world".

Stavros Dimas, Commissioner for the Environment stated that, "Climate change is one of the gravest threats to our planet. Acting against climate change is imperative. Today, we have agreed on a set of ambitious, but realistic targets which will support our global efforts to contain climate change and its most dire consequences. I urge the rest of the developed world to follow our lead, match our reductions and accelerate progress towards an international agreement on the global emission reductions".

On January 11, in a major follow-up speech on climate change to the Launch event of the European Commission and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change co-operation for 2007, Stavros Dimas indicated, "...the fight against climate change is much more than a battle. It is a world war that will last for many years and probably for many generations. Damaged economies, refugees, political instability, and the loss of life are typically the results of war. But they will also be the results of unchecked climate change. It is like a war because to reduce emissions something very like a war economy is needed. All sectors – transport, energy, agriculture and foreign policy must work closely together to meet a common objective. And it is a world war because every country in the world will be affected by the results of climate change – although it will be the poorest who are hit hardest...

"The science on climate change is clear and we can see the evidence is before our eyes. We have a good idea of the likely social, environmental and – following the Stern Review - economic cost of climate change [
See WIMS 10/31/06]. We already have the basic technologies that can reduce emissions ... and these are being improved all the time. We have the resources to make the necessary investments. If we are to have a chance of successfully tackling climate change the real challenges are not scientific, or technical or economic. They are political...

"As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the creation of the European Union I am convinced that protecting the environment – and in particular tackling climate change – will be at the very heart of the European project over the next 50 years. The alternative is to surrender in the war against climate change ... and that is really no alternative at all."

Access a release and overview from the European Commission (
click here). Access links to all documents (click here). Access a EurActiv report on the actions and links to extensive information (click here). Access the Dimas 1/11/07 speech (click here). [*Climate, *Energy]