Energy 2020

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|[pic] |EUROPEAN COMMISSION |


Brussels, 10.11.2010
COM(2010) 639 final






COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC ANDSOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Energy 2020
A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy


{SEC(2010) 1346}

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

Energy 2020
A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy


Introduction


Theprice of failure is too high.


Energy is the life blood of our society. The well-being of our people, industry and economy depends on safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy. At the same time, energy related emissions account for almost 80% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions. The energy challenge is thus one of the greatest tests which Europe has to face. It will take decades tosteer our energy systems onto a more secure and sustainable path. Yet the decisions to set us on the right path are needed urgently as failing to achieve a well-functioning European energy market will only increase the costs for consumers and put Europe’s competitiveness at risk.


Over the next ten years, energy investments in the order of € 1 trillion are needed, both to diversify existingresources and replace equipment and to cater for challenging and changing energy requirements. Structural changes in energy supply, partly resulting from changes in indigenous production, oblige European economies to choose among energy products and infrastructures. These choices will be felt over the next 30 years and more. To enable these decisions to be taken urgently calls for an ambitious policyframework. Postponing these decisions will have immeasurable repercussions on society as regards both longer-term costs and security.


A common EU energy policy has evolved around the common objective to ensure the uninterrupted physical availability of energy products and services on the market, at a price which is affordable for all consumers (private and industrial), while contributing tothe EU's wider social and climate goals. The central goals for energy policy (security of supply, competitiveness, and sustainability) are now laid down in the Lisbon Treaty[1]. This spells out clearly what is expected from Europe in the energy area. While some progress has been made towards these goals, Europe's energy systems are adapting too slowly, while the scale of the challenges grows.Forthcoming enlargements of the EU will make this challenge even greater as the Union takes in countries with outdated infrastructure and less competitive energy economies.


The European Council adopted in 2007 ambitious energy and climate change objectives for 2020 – to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, rising to 30% if the conditions are right[2], to increase the share of renewable energyto 20% and to make a 20% improvement in energy efficiency. The European Parliament has continuously supported these goals. The European Council has also given a long term commitment to the decarbonisation path with a target for the EU and other industrialised countries of 80 to 95% cuts in emissions by 2050.


Nevertheless, the existing strategy is currently unlikely to achieve all the 2020targets, and it is wholly inadequate to the longer term challenges. EU energy and climate goals have been incorporated into the Europe 2020 Strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth[3], adopted by the European Council in June 2010, and into its flagship initiative ‘Resource efficient Europe’. The urgent task for the EU is to agree the tools which will make the necessary shift possible and...
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