European Council must recognise smart markets, energy efficiency and renewables as key priorities

Posted on 21 May 2013  | 
European Council must recognise smart markets, energy efficiency and renewables as key priorities

Who? European Council - EU Heads of State or Government chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council 
When? Wednesday 22 May 2013, +/- 12h15 - 17h00
What / issue? Tomorrow the European Council will discuss energy, focusing on the completion of the internal market, infrastructure, diversification and prices. WWF calls on the Council to continue resisting the clamour of a powerful few, and formally recognise the vital importance of a 2030 package of climate and energy measures that pushes forward Europe’s drive to sustainable, affordable, indigenous energy services through energy savings and renewable energy.
The European Council will likely call for further investigation on the structure of energy prices, in response to a vocal minority arguing that the economic burden of climate and energy policy is too high. However, recent research has already indicated that climate change, energy efficiency and renewables policy have only been minor contributors to energy price rises [1]; and are essential to freeing us from rising fossil energy import bills and to tackling climate change. The proposed alternative of shale gas, meanwhile, is a phenomenon that is peaking in the United States [2], but could only ever play a minor role in Europe [3], and at a potentially high cost to the environment and our progress towards competitive sustainable energy supplies.
Ahead of the EU Council, Jason Anderson, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF’s European Policy Office said:
‘Those with narrow vested interests are trying to hang progressive climate policies with the rope of rising energy prices. They demand a halt to climate policy and a focus on new fossil fuels in order to maintain competitiveness; but this is a deliberate diversion from the real challenges Europe must overcome to secure prosperity for all: rising fossil fuel bills, slow progress creating modern integrated and competitive markets, and continued weakness on energy savings.’
Important links: 
European Council meeting - Agenda and relevant documents: 
Note to the editors:
[1] For Germany, the WWF report ‘Myths and Facts about renewable energy in the Energiewende’ outlines this and other related information: available in English and German on A relevant calculation for the UK was conducted by the Climate Change Committee:, see figure 4.2, page 44.
[2] See for the most extensive survey of shale prospects yet published.
[3] See the presentation by Dr. Werner Zittel in the European Parliament on 14 May 2030:

Further information:
Jason Anderson
Head of Climate & Energy
WWF European Policy Office
Phone:+32 2 740 09 35
Mobile:+32 4 74 837 603
Audrey Gueudet
Communication and Media Officer
WWF European Policy Office
Phone: +32 2 743 88 06 |
Mobile: + 32 4 94 032 027
European Council must recognise smart markets, energy efficiency and renewables as key priorities

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required