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Westinghouse welcomes European Council's commitment to energy security and climate leadership


24 Mar 2014


BRUSSELS, March 21, 2014
Westinghouse Electric Company, a leading player in the nuclear industry in Europe and worldwide, supports the ambition shown by EU heads of state at the European Council meeting on 20-21 March to ensure Europe’s energy security whilst decarbonizing Europe’s energy system. Westinghouse agrees with heads of state that the 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy Policies must ensure a low-carbon future with affordable energy prices, industrial competitiveness, and security of supply. 
Commenting on the outcome of the European Council, Westinghouse President for Europe, Middle East and Africa Yves Brachet said, “The crisis in Ukraine has raised the consciousness of Europe’s governments, utilities and citizens to the vulnerability of our energy system and sources. We commend the European Council for reaffirming the EU’s ambitious focus on decarbonisation, whilst underlining competitiveness and energy security as priority objectives. Nuclear energy is the leading source of low-carbon energy in Europe and must be supported if we are to have a competitive and secure low-carbon future.”
Reacting to the Council’s discussions on the 2030 Framework, Westinghouse makes the following main points to be taken into consideration in future discussions:  
Europe needs a 40 percent binding target for greenhouse gas emissions reduction
Westinghouse welcomes heads of state commitment to further improve the coherence between greenhouse gas emissions reduction, energy efficiency and the use of renewables. The coexistence of 2020 targets has so far caused inefficiency and higher costs, contributing to the problems with the functioning of ETS. Westinghouse supports an ambitious and binding target of 40 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction by 2030. This is the most effective way of ensuring that the EU meets its climate and energy goals in the long term. The 40 percent target is needed to promote innovation and investment in low-carbon technologies in the most cost-effective and non-discriminatory approach. 
Europe needs a technology-neutral climate and energy policy
A technology-neutral climate and energy policy is the most effective way for Europe to achieve its objectives. It would help to avoid problems resulting from multiple targets and inconsistencies between greenhouse gas and Renewable Energy Sources (RES) policies, such as unfair competition for low-carbon technologies, unworkable market mechanisms, higher costs and a malfunctioning ETS. Westinghouse welcomes the European Council’s commitment in its conclusions to provide flexibility for the Member States in how they deliver their commitments in order to reflect national circumstances, energy mix and capacities. 
Europe needs a strong EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), as the cornerstone of Europe’s climate and energy policy
Westinghouse remains convinced that a strong ETS, delivering valid investment signals, is the core instrument for achieving a low-carbon energy sector. A well-functioning ETS, with required structural reform, will help avoid market fragmentation, particularly when complemented with an EU-wide carbon tax.
Europe’s low-carbon future must deliver affordable energy, promote jobs and support growth
Westinghouse strongly agrees with Europe’s leaders on the importance of ensuring security of supply for households and businesses at affordable and competitive prices. With consumers across Europe facing increasingly high electricity prices, and wholesale electricity prices and CO2 prices being low, Europe needs an integrated energy and climate approach which combines both economic growth and decarbonization objectives. 
Europe needs to enter international climate negotiations with a common voice
EU heads of state need to act swiftly in order to reach a common position to be submitted before the December 2015 UN climate summit in Paris (COP 21). The EU cannot expect to credibly lead international climate negotiations and influence other countries towards its own climate and energy ambitions and actions without having a strong, aligned position across the 28 member states. 
Westinghouse Electric Company, a group company of Toshiba Corporation (TKY:6502), is the world's pioneering nuclear energy company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and technologies to utilities throughout the world.  Westinghouse supplied the world's first pressurized water reactor in 1957 in Shippingport, Pa., USA.  Today, Westinghouse technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's operating nuclear plants, including more than 50 percent of those in Europe.
Contact: Hans Korteweg, Communications & Government Affairs Manager
Westinghouse Europe, Middle East & Africa
+32 (0)2 645-7162 (office) +32 (0)479-75-13-60 (mobile)