Europe’s energy outlook: The race against the clock

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There is an increased interest in a binding global agreement, in particular coming from China, and more pressure from investors for governments to sign up to a deal in Paris in 2015, pointed out Paul Watkinson, Head of the French Climate Negotiation Team at Friends of Europe’s this year’s Energy Summit.

However, many panelists remained unconvinced and there was a disagreement over whether the new EU 2030 commitments were bold enough.

October’s Council conclusions are “the most nationalistic and anti-European I’ve seen since I’ve been in Brussels”, said Claude Turmes, member of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. He also pointed out that if Europe had a 40% energy efficiency target, as many people had argued for, we would be able to wean ourselves off Russian gas and massively reduce the continent’s energy insecurity.

The renewable energy target was also called into question as responsible for high energy prices currently in Europe. “We need to avoid becoming too technology-focused and let the market decide which technologies are the winning one. Stop the ‘renewable only’ mantra”, said Bryony Worthington, UK Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate.

Will the new Juncker team deliver on future EU energy policy and square the circle between climate, competitiveness and energy security?

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Image credit: CC/Flickr Till Krech. CC/Flickr NASA Goddard Photo and Video. CC/Flickr Ken Colwell.

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