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EU energy policy - New study highlights 'defining moment' for EU energy and climate future


27 Jan 2011


Climate & Environment

EU heads of state and government are set to discuss Europe's energy future at next week's 'energy summit' (4 February). Ahead of the summit, the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament today launched the 'Vision Scenario', an independent study by Öko-Institut, setting out a detailed energy scenario for Europe up to 2050 (1). The study represents the first detailed scenario that sets out how the EU can meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80-95% by 2050 (from 1990 levels), with a comprehensive sector by sector analysis. It also makes clear the benefits this will have for EU energy security, reducing dependence on energy imports, as these imports are set to get ever more expensive.

Commenting on the findings of the study, Greens/EFA energy spokesperson Claude Turmes said:

"We are reaching the defining moment for Europe's climate and energy future: this is core message of the 'Vision Scenario'. The coming ten years will be decisive in determining the future of our energy sector and ensuring security of supply, as well as determining whether or not Europe can meet its long-term climate goals and whether we can keep our competitive advantage in the burgeoning green tech sector. EU leaders meeting next week to consider Europe's energy future must set out a course to ensure the EU becomes an energy leader and not an energy loser.

"Without an early and drastic reduction of the share of coal in the EU power mix, the EU will not meet its climate targets and we will hold back the shift towards the necessary electrification of transport. By prioritising energy saving and efficiency, renewable energy and the modernisation of electricity grids, the EU can ensure most of its coal power plants are phased-out by 2025-30. This approach will also ensure we have a robust, competitive energy mix. The long lead time and the capital intensive investments of nuclear power mean that it cannot contribute to this necessary early phasing out of coal."


Greens/EFA co-president Rebecca Harms added:

"Binding targets will be crucial for stimulating the investments required for this shift in our power sector. This means making the EU's target of reducing energy consumption 20% by 2020 binding; stepping up to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction target for 2020; and setting binding targets for the share of energy from renewable sources beyond 2020.

“Further delaying decisive action on energy efficiency and renewables will heighten the risk that Europe will lose out to emerging economies like China in the growing green tech sector. We also need to move swiftly to reduce our damaging dependence on energy imports, which leads to the transfer of € billions to oil, gas and nuclear exporting countries. Investing in energy efficiency, home grown renewable energy and energy infrastructure - as set out in this 'Vision Scenario' - would not only ensure Europe remains a leader in this emerging market and act as a crucial source of employment creation, it would also save Europe €130 billion in 2020, €260 billion in 2030 and €455 billion in 2050. We simply cannot afford to take another path."


(1) The full study can be found at the following url (pdf):


The executive summary of the study can be found at the following url (pdf):
Richard More O'Ferrall,
Press and media officer,
Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament
Mobile: +32-477-443842 - Ph. +32-22841669 (Brussels); +33-388174042 -


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