Press release Arias Cañete: ‘The fight against climate change needs a binding agreement’

27/03/2015

    _ Aznar requested a minute of silence at the beginning of the event in memory of the victims of the plane crash in the Alps

    _ ‘The best energy policy is energy efficiency,’ the Commissioner said

    _ ‘We must secure supplies and reduce dependence through the diversification of operators, sources and routes’


The European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, stated at the conference 'Towards a European Energy Union' at the headquarters of FAES that ‘the fight against climate change requires a binding, ambitious and dynamic global agreement from the Paris summit’. Arias Cañete also said that ‘the best energy policy is energy efficiency’ and that therefore ‘we must work to reconcile the development of clean energy with an efficient and competitive system.’

The former Prime Minister of Spain and President of FAES Foundation, José María Aznar, who attended the event, asked for a minute of silence at the beginning of the conference in memory of those killed a few days before in the tragic plane crash in the Alps. Miguel Arias, who was presented by journalist John Müller, stressed the importance of achieving a ‘binding agreement’ at the XXI International Conference on Climate Change to be held in December in Paris. ‘The fight against climate change requires that the Paris summit achieves an ambitious and dynamic global agreement’, the commissioner said, adding that ‘the G20 and G7 should have similar levels of ambition to the European Union‘.

He also stressed that the goal of the European Commission in this matter is ‘making an energy union within a climate change policy, which is the most important challenge of this century.’ ‘We must work to reconcile the development of clean energy with an efficient and competitive energy system,’ he said, and for this, in his opinion, ‘the best energy policy is energy efficiency.’

RENEWING THE ENERGY MIX

In this sense, Arias Cañete said that the European Union cannot achieve certain commitments on climate issues if the European energy mix is not renewed. To do this, he said, the Commission has put a strategy in place involving, first, the securing of supplies and the reducing of dependence ‘through the diversification of operators, sources and routes’. In addition, he pointed out the need to implement interconnectors, develop a strategy of liquefied natural gas, intensify the implementation of technological innovations and seek a comprehensive internal energy market, for which he called for the ‘promotion of a single European regulator’.

When referring to the excessive energy dependence of the European Union, Arias Cañete described the scenario as ‘worrying’. Among its major weaknesses he mentioned the cost of imports, which he estimated at 1 billion euros per day; the disappearance of the gas interconnection with Russia via Ukraine; and the inefficiency of the European housing stock.

‘This energy program has to be developed in five years’, the commissioner stated, who also said that taking steps towards an energy union are, along with job creation and an integrated digital market, the priorities of a European Commission ‘particularly interested in policy’ which is governed by the maxim 'better legislation, less legislation' referring to the need of regulating only if a clear added value is perceived.