All you need to know about Europe’s climate and energy policies

» By | Published 20 Mar 2012

Sophie Westlake tells the EWEA blog about a new website that aims to collect as many facts as possible on the benefits of Europe’s climate and energy policies…

Sceptics argue that climate change and sustainable energy policies will damage Europe’s economy, but do you believe delayed action in deploying renewable energy technologies could actually be cheaper in the long-run? Do you really think that climate action is a genuine threat to European jobs?

Well the short answer for me is “not really”… But then you probably want a little more detail than that…

How about this: the IEA estimates that every year of delayed action on renewable energy adds an extra €380 billion to the investment needed between 2010 and 2030 in the energy sector. And did you know that research in the US has found that for every $1 million (€0.76 billion) invested in oil refineries, five jobs are created while every $1 million invested in renewables creates 15 jobs and 17 in energy efficiency?

Meanwhile, oil prices are going up – regularly topping $100 per barrel since 2008, but renewable energy prices have been coming down (solar PV halving in price between 2007 and 2011) and down (wind turbine prices have fallen by 18 % over the last couple of years).

Moreover, the European Commission estimates that reaching the 20% energy savings target would create a million new jobs in Europe by 2020. And, far from being crippled by the need to purchase emission allowances on the ETS – many industrial players have been unnecessarily purchasing these offsets for profit – at times directly from their competitors in China and India, thus subsidising these so-called threats to their profitability.

Am I preaching to the converted?

In this fight we don’t only need the drive we need the facts, and then to repeat them as much as possible. We’re collecting as many facts and figures as possible to present a robust picture of Europe’s low carbon economy on Come have a browse and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to create change!