Climate Change Policy for an Energy Efficient Europe

  • The World Energy Council study “European Climate Change Policy Beyond 2012” provides an overview of the EU climate and energy policy package and, more specifically, the further developments of its emissions trading system. Whereas EU policy covering the period to 2020 has well developed milestones and legislation, the future beyond 2020 is rather nebulous. This has severe implications on the investments in the energy sector and on research and development activities. Sustainability of investments not only necessitates consideration of environmental issues: also important are security of supply and affordability of energy. The World Energy Council study explores the main conclusions drawn from EU policy and the emissions trading system and outlines what shuld be the principal drivers of an economically and ecologically sustainable pathway for a European climate and energy policy. Like all other regions and countries of the world, Europe faces an unprecedented dilemma flowing from the fact that climate change is a global problem. There can be no solution for Europe, irrespective of how generous Europe’s contribution to solving the problem may be, unless there is an effective solution for the entire world. In other words, there can never be a sustainable European pathway unless there is a sustainable global pathway. Even if Europe’s policies are cost-effective for Europe, they will not be cost-effective in climate change terms unless they contribute to cost-effectiveness globally. Based on the World Energy Council study, this report provides some general background and statistical material about CO2 emissions, identifies some important abatement technologies and their technical and economic potential, explores the current status of the EU climate policy and its possible future development and lays out the pathway to a climate friendly and energy efficient Europe. Energy efficiency in industry is expected to be major support to the EU climate policy.
  • Keywords
    climate change, energy policy, energy efficiency, emissions trading scheme
  • Pages
    213 - 228
  • Submitted
  • Revised
  • Accepted
    0350-218X, 38 (2012), 2, 213-228
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