Sefcovic points to trade as next priority for EU climate diplomacy

(EurActiv, 26 Jun 2019) Europe must look for ways of incorporating the carbon content of imported products while avoiding import dependence on key technologies for the energy transition, said Maros Šefčovič, the European Commission’s Vice-President in charge of the Energy Union.

Speaking on Monday (24 June), Šefčovič said energy security was one of his chief concerns during his five-year mandate at the Commission, which expires on 31 October.

But as Europe gradually abandons fossil fuels in favour of clean energy, it must avoid falling into another trap linked to raw materials and technological dependence, he warned.

“I think we have to be pretty focused on ensuring that we do not substitute our energy dependence with some kind of technological dependence or raw materials dependence,” he told participants at the Brussels launch of BloombergNEF’s New Energy Outlook.

Europe has to be “very vigilant” and avoid “repeating the same mistakes when it comes to batteries, electric vehicles, electric buses or hydrogen technologies which, I agree, will probably be key to zero-carbon heavy-duty vehicles,” he said.

Taking the automotive sector as an example, Šefčovič explained that Europe’s industrial success in the coming decade “will depend very much on energy storage and smart grids”, but he also cautioned against import dependence for the car sector.

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EurActiv, 26 Jun 2019: Sefcovic points to trade as next priority for EU climate diplomacy