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EU Announces ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ 900K Jobs Mega-Plan

EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete shows the new clean energy proposals at a press conference in Brussels. Photo: European Commission
EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete shows the new clean energy proposals at a press conference in Brussels. Photo: European Commission

The EU commission has put forward a ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package of energy laws and regulations to help Europe implement the Paris climate accord.

“Europe is on the brink of a clean energy revolution. And just as we did in Paris, we can only get this right if we work together,” EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said yesterday (30 November).

Up to €177 billion in public and private investment could be mobilised every year from 2021 to support the measures, according to the Commission.

The package – which will now needs to be approved by the EU parliament and the member states – focuses on energy efficiency, renewable energy and affordability of energy for consumers. “Clean energy is here to stay and has become a jobs and growth engine,” said Cañete.

European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič, responsible for the EU’s energy transition, said the measures “will bring a fundamental change” and move the continent away from “centralised fossil-fuel-based systems, which were built some 100 years ago.”

Šefčovič called the proposal, which counts more than 1000 pages, a “mega package” according to EUobserver. The Commission says the new proposals could generate up to 1 per cent increase in GDP over the next decade and create 900,000 new jobs.”We count on the European Parliament and our member states to make it a reality,” Cañete said.

Energy Efficiency

Cañete explained the proposals provide “a strong market pull for new technologies, set the right conditions for investors, empower consumers, make energy markets work better and help us meet our climate targets.”

EU education commissioner Tibor Navracsics took to Twitter to point out how public-private innovation networks like Climate-KIC – funded through the European Union’s EIT innovation institute for which he is responsible – are already “powering innovators to turn best ideas into clean energy.”

Cañete said he is “particularly proud” of the binding 30 per cent energy efficiency target, “as it will reduce our dependency on energy imports, create jobs and cut more emissions,” he said.

Europe’s previous target was set at 27 per cent, and was not binding. According to the Commission, the new efficiency proposals will create some 400,000 new jobs and add up to €130 billion to the economy by 2030.

The Commission also proposes new ways to boost the renewable energy sector and Šefčovič said the proposals “ensure the right of every individual to produce renewable energy.” Subsidies on coal will be cut and the Commission says EU countries must work together to make sure everyone can afford clean energy.

Supporting The Best Ideas

Commissioner Navracsics said Climate-KIC contributes to the new proposals by “raising capitals for low-carbon sustainable cities.” The Commissioner highlighted the organisation’s Low Carbon City Lab programme, which provides cities with better tools for assessing greenhouse gas emissions, planning, helps explore investment opportunities and monitors progress.

The new energy efficiency proposals support businesses working on new technologies to drastically cut energy waste and related emissions. Navracsics highlighted one of those start-ups: Nerdalize. The company “stimulates green energy and saves energy,” according to the commissioner.

Nerdalize, a Netherlands-based start-up supported by Climate-KIC, takes computer servers out of data centres and puts them in buildings where they double as radiators – saving energy on both cooling and heating.

Find out how Climate-KIC programmes like Low Carbon City Lab and the Building Technologies Accelerator are already working on Europe’s transition to a zero carbon economy, or find out how your start-up could get support.

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