Energy Union is about re-inventing our economy

(7 Feb 2017) The European Commission’s Winter Package of Energy Union laws will be a turning point for clean energy, writes Maroš Šefčovič. But the spirit of the package goes further than clean energy or tackling climate change – it’s also about economic transformation, he argues.

Maroš Šefčovič is vice-president of the European Commission, in charge of the Energy Union.

After 300 hundred years of industrialisation, our European society is moving towards low-impact, sustainable existence. While our GDP has grown by 50% since 1990, our emissions fell by 22%.

This means we have successfully decoupled emissions from our economic growth, we have proved there isn’t a trade-off between the two objectives.

More importantly, the realisation that climate change may cause in future a much larger recession than the 2008 global recession is gaining traction globally. After all, in the 21st century we have experienced nine of the ten warmest years on record, with 2016 being the hottest yet.

Ironically, 2016 has been the most successful year yet in the fight against climate change. And the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and delivery of our “Clean Energy for All Europeans” package convey the strong resolve of 2016 very well.

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, 7 Feb 2017: Energy Union is about re-inventing our economy