Grøn kickstart til EU's økonomi og energi
Talen er på engelsk.
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Commissioner, Parliamentarians, Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m truly sorry, that I’m unable to actually physically attend this conference, but I’m happy that modern technology enables me to be with you today anyway – and also in a rather CO2-friendly way.
And I’m especially grateful, that it’s possible considering how important today’s agenda is. Not just to me, but to Europe.
Because right now we are in the middle of a double crisis.
A financial crisis
And a climate and resource crisis.
Two crises that are deeply intertwined.
In the last century we have moved from horses to horsepower.
Concentrations of CO2 have grown by 40 % since pre-industrial times. And energy demand has hit the roof.
The question before us then is no longer the nature of the challenge – the question is our capacity to meet it.
That’s exactly why we agreed upon the EU energy strategy up to 2020 and decided on the 20/20/20 targets.
And that’s why we need to kick start a green transition of our economy and our energy system.
To keep feeding the European energy junkie the fossil fix will only erode our economies and our energy security.
Let’s not forget, that Europe imports half of its energy
and how Europe’s energy bill for imported oil has risen by more than 40 % in a year! - Costing us an extra 100 billion euros.
On the other hand, if we look at the contribution renewable energy is already making to the global economy, we see how it sparks investments,
how it delivers jobs, and how it creates growth.
I hope you will agree with me that this is a development we need to encourage.
Surely, we can’t do it overnight. The transition will require significant investments. This is of course controversial in hard times, when focus is on earning a living and making ends meet.
But I firmly believe that every euro spent on energy efficiency and renewables is an investment in European employment and competitiveness.
The energy sector is made up of concrete and hard steel. Not feathers and tents, which are easily reorganised and moved overnight.
Enabling the transition to a sustainable and efficient energy future requires long term predictability and security for investment.
We have a clear goal for the next eight years. But investors look further down the road, when they consider investing in solutions, that last the next 30 years or more.
That’s why we need to start thinking about what kind of policy framework and what kind of energy system we want after 2020, which I’m sure you will agree with me is not far off.
A lack of a framework might not only lead to postponed investments in renewables but to investments in technology based on fossil fuels.
The fact is that more than 70 per cent of the European coal fired power plants are more than 30 years old. They need a serious makeover to maintain capacity.
If we don’t ensure clear political and economic signals to turn investments away from fossil fuels
and towards renewable energy, we will risk that investments are made in obsolete technologies, which will last 30 or 40 years and run up our energy bill.
In other words:
we’ll be spending more and more of our GDP on fossil fuels.
Money that is sent out of Europe.
So what do we do?
First we should aim for a new target for renewables at EU level.This is an important tool to ensure deployment of renewable energy sources across Europe, ensure higher security of supply, and secure a sound investment climate.
The Commission’s Energy Road Map 2050 shows that all decarbonisation scenarios considered suggest growing shares of renewables of around 30% in 2030. This could be a good starting point for discussion of our level of ambition in 2030.
Secondly, a system with a share of more than 20% renewables surely demands thorough consideration of what kind of support schemes we want to put to use.
Even if renewables are becoming adults, we probably still need to support them financially. Even after 2020.
But we will have to do it in a smarter and more cost-effective way.
Just as convergence initiatives must be carefully planned to avoid investor insecurity.
Finally, we need to develop new green technologies.
Here investment in research and development is crucial and a more integrated European innovation system paramount.
And then we should of course not forget the required investment in infrastructure and connections between our countries that could create a more smart grid and market to absorb more fluctuations energy.
We need political will, and the necessary muscle, to create a sustainable energy system and growth based on many and diversified eternal fuels.
I look forward to learn the results of your talks today and I can assure you that the Danish Presidency will continue to push this agenda.
I wish you all a fruitful conference.