The European Union, looking to have a unified strategy in regards to energy priorities within the boundaries of its member nations, last week proposed what it is calling Energy 2020: A Strategy for Competitive, Sustainable and Secure Energy. This proposal, to be discussed by member nations more in depth in February, would, among other items, put roughly a trillion euros towards energy infrastructure investments.
The Energy 2020 plan, according to the EU, “aims at achieving ambitious energy and climate-change objectives for 2020: reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 20 %, increase the share of renewable energy to 20 % and make a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency.” To achieve these lofty goals, five top priorities have been identified as need to be met. These include developing greater energy efficiency practices towards transport and buildings; creating an “internal energy market” that would speed up essential energy infrastructure work; working more hand in hand with non-EU nations willing to participate in its energy market; increasing leadership in energy technology and innovation; and making the energy process easier on consumers.
The EU’s energy commission now plans to “come forward with concrete legislative initiatives and proposals within the next 18 months” which will build towards its lofty goals. “The energy challenge is one of the greatest tests for us all,” said EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger in a statement. “Putting our energy system onto a new, more sustainable and secure path may take time but ambitious decisions need to be taken now. To have an efficient, competitive and low-carbon economy we have to europeanise our energy policy and focus on a few but pressing priorities.”
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