Commissioner Günther Oettinger Outlines “Energy Roadmap 2050”
On May 17, Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy, took part in a conversation on the “European Energy Roadmap 2050”, at GMF’s Warsaw office in Poland.
Presenting the main objectives of the Roadmap to an audience of journalists, embassy officials and members of the Polish policy and business community, Commissioner Oettinger outlined that key targets included, peace and stability for the continent and an operational internal market with strong transportation networks.
These objectives are to be achieved by completing target goals by the years 2020, 2030 and 2050. As Europe imports 55% of its energy (this figure could go up to 70%-80% in the next 20 years), it needs a common energy strategy complemented by strong infrastructure and development centres.
The Commissioner stressed that a coherent EU approach is required for the development of European infrastructure. A comparison of EU member states shows that transportation and development of energy infrastructure differs between states, as do roads and communication networks.
According to the Commissioner, common goals, targets and security plans for the EU would help reach sufficient investment levels. A Europeanized policy approach is necessary because Europe cannot act alone. Countries such as China and the US must also join the pursuit to lower CO2 emissions. A closer relationship between emissions and climate change is a must for the EU, China and the US, and if all comply, by 2020 we could see a 45% decrease in CO2 emissions.
Commissioner Oettinger also presented targets for the next 20-30 years. By 2020, the aim is to reduce CO2 emissions and reach a higher level of energy efficiency, as well as develop long term planning and security for investors. The Commissioner pointed to the period beyond the year 2020 as crucial for the implementation of the Energy Roadmap 2050 goals. A united approach is necessary based on different markets and sectors – the European Union is not against coal mining especially in rising industrial states like Poland, which rely heavily on coal mining. All energy sectors are important, but the main outcome is for the EU to stay CO2-emissions free.
Commissioner Oettinger’s remarks were followed by a Q&A session from the audience.