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Europe D66 ALDE/ELDR European Parliament Economy

Energy Intelligence can increase European competitiveness

   Wed 14/03/2001

MEPs call on Europe to make its economy the most energy intelligent in the world. Press release.

In response to the Commission Action Plan on Energy Efficiency which is being considered far too weak, four MEP's from four different political groups are the authors of a cross-party and cross-nation initiative to make Europe's economy the most energy intelligent in the world. The MEP's are Mrs. Lousewies van der Laan (Netherlands, ELDR), Mrs. Eryl McNally (United Kingdom, ESP), Mr. Claude Turmes (Luxemburg, Greens/EFA) and Mr. Anders Wijkman (Sweden, EPP-ED).

The purpose of the initiative, "Energy Intelligent Europe (EI-Europe)", is to promote energy efficiency as the number one energy "source." Estimates tell that more than 30 % of European final energy consumption could be saved by implementing the right energy efficiency measures. There are, however, several barriers to realizing this potential, such as lack of information about available technologies, market imperfections and discouraging taxation.

There are strong reasons for adopting an ambitious EU policy on energy efficiency, such as reducing dependency on external supplies, realizing Kyoto commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reducing health hazards from fossil fuel use in cities. In addition both households and business would benefit financially from using energy more intelligently. "Energy Intelligent Europe" suggests a number of initiatives in areas where both the economy and the environment stand to gain the most: Says Anders Wijkman: "Get Energy Intelligence accepted as a target to be achieved in the Lisbon process. The Lisbon process should make sure that important environment concerns are not left behind. A realistic objective would be to aim at a yearly energy intensity reduction within the Union by 2,5%."

Says Eryl McNally: "We must provide incentives so that energy companies will earn money not only through selling more kilowatt-hours, but by providing more with less, i.e. by providing the same level of energy services as before but with less input of energy."

Says Claude Turmes: "In order to make Energy Intelligence visible, the Commission should propose a bundling of directives to promote co-generation, to enhance energy efficiency in new and old buildings, to promote more efficient household appliances and office equipment, to improve energy efficiency in transportation and to use public procurement proactively to promote energy-efficient equipment."

Says Lousewies van der Laan: "The Commission must make energy efficiency a prominent theme in the negotiations with accesssion countries. The EU should assist eastern and central european countries to "leap-frog", i.e. to bypass polluting stages in their development process."

Another important suggestion is to turn the EU institution buildings into good examples of Energy Intelligence and energy efficiency. Furthermore, EU initiatives can and should help setting international standards for appliances and office equipment worldwide.

The initiative has already been signed and supported by members representing all major party groups and all member-states. A formal meeting with Commissioner Palacio is taking place within shortly.