Dr. Romana Jordan, poslanka 2000-2014, arhiv

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Priložnosti evropske energetske politike za ustvarjanje novih delovnih mest


Dr. Romana Jordan v četrtek, 20. 9. 2012, sodeluje na Ljubljana Forumu 2012 s prispevkom o priložnosth evropske energetske politike za ustvarjanje novih delovnih mest. 

Prenos v živo: http://www.ljubljanaforum.org/live/

Poslankin nagovor v celoti:

European Energy Policy and its ability for job creation

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, 

I spend so much time travelling to attend meetings or make speeches and I must say that it is really a pleasure to come home to Slovenia with a mission to do both. Therefore I thank very much the organisers of the Ljubljana Forum for inviting me.

Today we are talking about visions, innovation, creativeness and future. In this context I would like to tell you something about the European Union's energy policy and how it can help us re-establish our economic momentum by creating new and innovative jobs. 

As some of you may know, I am lucky enough to have enjoyed 2 careers in my professional life - first in the energy sector and then in EU politics. So, to talk on European Energy Policy should be natural for me. Also I am a mother of two young adults who, like so many of young Europeans, will be looking for employment in the coming years. Considering that the most recent figures show a youth unemployment rate across the EU has increased to 21% - in some Member States even 50%  - this is a large and important challenge. However, by tackling the economic crisis in an pro-active and innovative way and with wise investments in the areas that will generate returns, we cannot only start working towards a higher employment of European youth but also towards a more stable, competitive and stronger European economy. One area of wise investments is that of energy. And energy is one policy field which is becoming more and more important at the European level.

As we know the European Union is a product of more than 60 years of integration. Energy policy is one of the oldest policy fields of the EU. The very first areas of cooperation were within the Coal and Steel Community (1952) and the European Community for Nuclear Energy - Euratom (1957). Until relatively recently, however, European energy policy was the domain of Member State Governments coming together to agree on international treaties. The European Parliament was acting only as an observer. The 1972 Oil Crisis and the political developments in Europe in the 1980's added some urgency for quicker development of what in 2009 became the "common energy policy". The first EU agreements in the energy field mostly covered topics such as the diversification of energy supply, ten-year energy goals, coordination among Member States, promotion of nuclear energy, hydrocarbon and solid fuels, diversification of supply in Europe and promotion of a more rational use of energy.

As Energy policy developed it was accompanied by several environmental initiatives promoting a combination of economic objectives with a responsible approach for the future of our planet. More and more policy-makers have come to the conclusion that energy, economy and climate change should be tackled together. So we now have a so called "sustainability triangle" defining the needed energy policy based on: 

Economic development, 
Environmental responsibility, and 
Independence of energy supply. 

There is an interdependency of these 3 aspects that makes it both difficult and essential to achieve them. We cannot have economic recovery without getting our citizens - especially the young who will be our future - back to work. To get full employment we must be globally competitive so our energy supply must not only be cleaner but also be competitively priced and free from the political interference that accompanies external dependency. 

Yes, that is a challenge but one that has no room for failure.

From what I have presented so far I believe that you can already see why investments in the energy field can importantly enhance job creation and tackle the issue of youth unemployment in Europe. Especially in times when money is scarce, we need to choose our investments wisely. 

According to the impact assessment analysis that the European Commission has made in the light of the Energy Roadmap 2050, some subsectors of energy policies, like for example the energy efficiency in buildings, tend to be highly labour-intensive. These "green" technologies and related innovations can have a direct positive effect of relative growth, and indirect positive effects on energy policy.  These investments could include increased innovation, increased export potential for green technologies and less fossil fuel imports. The studies of the European Commission also evaluate net employment effects of the EU's current energy and climate targets (20-20-20 targets) of ±1% . In addition, an independent study from 2009 foresees that, if Europe really wishes to decarbonise, an estimated 0,7% higher employment rate is expected in 2020. 

This corresponds to some 1,5 million new jobs. 

These jobs are expected to be for higher skilled people as they are most likely to be in the field of energy saving or new forms of energy generation. In this way the greening of the economy can stimulate the demand for highly skilled (and highly paid) workers and allow for the creation of new and innovative jobs. The Energy Roadmap presents a number of scenarios for the year 2050 and the highest figures for employment can be found in the "High energy efficiency" and "High Renewable Energy Sources" scenarios.

At this point, I would like to stress that it is not only the Member States of the European union, all 27 of them, that can help us to achieve the above mentioned energy and climate change goals and allow for the creation of these new jobs - the cities and the regions also have their important role to play. This fact was underlined at the Rio+20 summit in June this year where the EU's Committee of the Region signed an agreement with the United Nations Environment Programme to promote sustainable European cities and regions but also other continents at a global level aimed at engaging cities and regions and encouraging them to becoming more sustainable. The actions in this field consequently also lead to better energy efficiency, cleaner energy that we use in the cities and a more sustainable scheme of energy security. In addition, sustainable cities offer new employment opportunities. 

Local actions are important both in mitigation (slowing down the effects of climate change) and adaptation (protecting ourselves against the effects), placing cities at the forefront of climate-protection and energy policies. Actions to save energy, cooling without electric air conditioning, and reduced traffic and land use should be on every city's agenda. Cities can play a major role in promoting environmentally friendly industries, technologies and products and it should be remembered that sustainable cities do not only attract people – they also attract business.  Some experts say that with the right innovation and incentives in place, cities can allow high living standards to be combined with resource consumption that is much lower than the norm in most cities today. This is achieved not with an over-optimistic view on what new technologies can bring but through a wider application of what already has been shown to work by the more innovative and accountable city and municipal governments and their partnerships with civil society groups. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The challenges that we are facing in the field of energy, environment and the economy are big. 

The time for talking is over and the time for action is upon us and urgently needed.

What we need now is implementation of existing legislation and policies. And we need a stable Roadmap to reassure investors and cities that their money will not go to waste. This is what the EU can and will do with the document called Energy Roadmap 2050. We must be ready and happy to cooperate at national, EU and, where appropriate for the environment, on an international level. Only in this way can we address the changing climate, scarcity of resources and the demographic challenges and move towards a newer, cleaner and more efficient Europe. 

A Europe of opportunity for our young people.

So, in conclusion, allow me to say that in our future energy policy I believe we need:

Stability which will allow for stable investments

Completion of the single competitive energy market

Investment in the needed infrastructure

A drastic reduction in unemployment levels - especially in the 18-24 age group

Targeted R&D finance, 

And most importantly

EU-wide cooperation to achieve our common goals.

Dr. Romana Jordan, MEP

Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
Ljubljana Forum 2012, 20.9.2012
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