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European businesses and organisations call for 100% renewables by 2050

More than two hundred entities across Europe have met in Brussels and other EU capitals to present a declaration for European energy policy

The signatories of the manifesto include diverse institutions including industry associations, professionals, academics, trade unions, and environmental organisations; as well as companies operating not just in the energy sector, between them employing around half a million workers. “Confronted not only with an economic downturn, but in particular with the challenges posed by climate change, an increasing fuel import dependency and rising fossil fuel prices, Europe urgently needs to develop solutions for a future sustainable energy system entirely based on renewable energy sources”, says the declaration, which has been presented today as the European Union reviews its own objective for Europe’s energy future to 2050 and EU leaders prepare to meet in Brussels on 4 February in the first high-level energy summit to be held.

The signatories of the declaration call on Europe to lead by example. “The answers to today’s challenges do not lie beyond our reach – they lie in the palm of our hands. By promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, we will be able to tackle both security of energy supply and climate change, while at the same time creating a future-oriented sustainable economy with high-quality green jobs,” they say. Parliamentary supporters such as Francisco Xavier Albistur Marin (MP Spain), Yolanda Avontroodt (MP Belgium) Marco Bülow (MP Germany)and Fiona Hall (MEP UK) and entities including the WWF, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, the Renewable Energy Magazine, and the European Wind Energy Association have joined companies such as juwi, Kaco, Schneider Electric and Siliken in showing their commitment to “promoting an economy based on energy efficiency and renewable energy for green jobs and promote economic development, energy independence and curbing climate change”. This process, they say, must be accompanied and a “just transition” for workers potentially affected. The signatories urge European leaders “to quickly act and make this 2050 vision become a reality for the benefit of all EU citizens”.

The statement – which was first envisaged by the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC), the inter-parliamentary forum EUFORES (European Forum for Renewable Energy Sources) and Greenpeace – has also been signed by companies such as Danfoss, Sanyo, Mainstream Renewable Power, La Compagnie du Vent (a subsidiary of GDF Suez), etc. It is also being supported by public entities such as the DLR (German Aerospace Centre), hospitals, policy makers and civil organisations across Europe. According to Javier García Breva, President of Spain’s Renewable Energy Foundation, “we need a political strategy in Europe and Spain which enables the 100% renewable target we are calling for to be realised. If we have to negotiate this strategy, let’s start by ensuring the growth of renewable technologies, which are those that are contributing more jobs, technology and export capacity”.

For her part, Miren Gutierrez, Executive Director of Greenpeace Spain believes, “we have reached the moment when we must decide what future we want. One of uncertainty, destruction and climate change towards which dirty energy is leading us; or one of stability, sustainability, security and development which renewable energies guarantee. Having demonstrated the technical and economic feasibility of a 100% renewable system, now the decision is political, and that is what society is demanding”.

by S. C.
07 march 2011, World News > Europe

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