At the Joint Parliamentary Meeting on “Energy and Sustainable Development” in the European Parliament, Prof. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director, European Environment Agency gave a lecture on climate change. She finishes the lecture by holding up the Municipality of Thisted as an example of a community which changed its energy consumption with renewable energy.
Today we have a target of limiting a global temperature increase to 2°C. If we are realistic about achieving this our energy policy needs to change.
The 20/20/20 combination of targets in the energy package is only the first step: 30% was also proposed should the international community also come on board.
Decisions made by heads of state at the European Council next month have the potential to alter the economic and environmental landscape of the EU fundamentally.
But we must also look further ahead to see how we can benefit from technological change at the community as well as national level.
A perfect example of the community approach is the Thisted municipality in Denmark. Here the community has achieved over 100 per cent of its power consumption, and more than 80 per cent of its heat consumption, without the use of fossil fuels.
Sir Nicolas Stern, has added that ‘clean energy is proving to be a convenient policy tool, as it address four major issues; energy security, the economy, unemployment and climate change’
In our energy and environment report we highlight that energy production is having a detrimental impact on our environment, and that we still rely heavily on fossil fuels.
Our commitment to a post carbon economy via a shift towards sustainable renewable energy will be essential for energy security and tacking climate change.
This approach, together with decentralising energy supply and taking a life cycle perspective, is the only route to a truly sustainable and secure future. It is all about giving Power to the People.