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Important to manage energy transition, but not at the expense of our productivity

13 November 2018

Important to manage energy transition, but not at the expense of our productivity

Under new rules adopted in the European Parliament today by 2030 the EU should use 32.5% less energy and 32% of its energy production should come from renewable sources. ECR Flemish MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt believes the agreement is ambitious and will encourage investment in buildings and industrial processes, without compromising productivity.

MEPs vote for ambitious new efficiency plans

Under new rules adopted in the European Parliament today by 2030 the EU should use 32.5% less energy and 32% of its energy production should come from renewable sources. Today, an overwhelming majority of MEPs adopted these ambitious but
realistic objectives.

ECR Flemish MEP Anneleen Van Bossuyt was ECR group’s lead negotiator on the energy efficiency file. Speaking after the vote she said:

“The negative consequences of global warming are clear. That is why we have to combine ambition with a sense of reality. This agreement is much more ambitious than the original proposals presented by the European Commission two years ago.
These policies will require a lot of effort in the short term, but should not come at the expense of our citizens and businesses. Therefore it was crucial that we have found the right balance.”

“In the first place, we must focus on a lower energy consumption. The less we consume, the less we have to invest in new power plants or alternative sources. This means we have to invest in more renovation of our existing buildings, more efficient industrial processes and shifting towards greener modes of transport. By 2030 we have to use 32.5% less energy, which of course should not be at the expense of our productivity.”

In addition, by 2030, 32% of the EU’s energy production must come from renewable sources. Van Bossuyt continued:

“We shouldn’t make rash decisions as for instance Germany has done. There, the rapid nuclear phase-out has led to an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Old polluting lignite plants now have to guarantee the electricity supply there.
Building new facilities costs time and money. In addition, we need a European approach to better integrate our internal energy market. In the future it will no longer be possible for the member states to supply 100% of their own energy production. Renewable energy can also be produced more cheaply and efficiently in certain Member States. Just think of solar energy in Spain or Greece. So Member States will have to work more and better together. 27 energy islands will never get the job done.”

Van Bossuyt asks the other international players to also take their responsibility: “We must not be naïve. For example, the EU is responsible for less than 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If we impose sky-high targets on ourselves, the companies will move to countries outside the EU where
the emission regulations are less stringent. With this balanced package, the EU clearly respects the Paris Agreement. But the rest of the world must now show the same ambition. “

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