Commissioner Arias Cañete focused on the European Energy Union during his keynote speech at the Euro Economic Congress in Katowice, Poland. The following is an extract from Cañete’s speech:
“For me modernisation is the key theme of our debate today. Because business as usual is not an option for Europe. Let me give you three reasons why:
- Climate change is accelerating and requires urgent action. We must chart a course towards a competitive low-carbon economy that reconciles global climate objectives with competitiveness. That is what the EU will push for in Paris later this year.
- We are still vulnerable to energy supply shortages. Too many European countries, including Poland, are still overly reliant on individual suppliers for their energy. Security of supply crises impact livelihoods, economies and prices around Europe.
- We still suffer from chronic underinvestment in energy infrastructure and markets. That means that new technologies and innovation do not translate sufficiently quickly into a modernised energy sector.
At the heart of the solution for all three of those things is the need to modernise: modernise our energy market, modernise our infrastructure, and modernise our investment framework.
The recently adopted Energy Union strategy and action plan is the umbrella under which we will make that happen. Its ultimate goal is to provide secure, affordable and competitive energy for Europe's citizens and industry. Achieving that will boost our competitiveness and put Europe on the road to recovery.
I would like to touch on three key areas where the Energy Union will deliver the modernisation which our economy needs.
- Firstly, the completion of the internal energy market, linked up by modern infrastructure. A market whichworks for households and businesses, drives down prices and boosts competitiveness.
- Secondly, we need to create an investment climate which can enable us to modernise the energy system.
- And thirdly, we will focus on setting the economy on a low-carbon pathway to meet our climate objectives and create new market opportunities in our economy. This includes a an Emissions Trading Scheme which drives modernisation.
The bottom line is that the Energy Union is there to ensure that we can get energy where it's needed at an affordable price without impacting our climate. The Energy Union will seek to complete a virtuous circle where a fully integrated internal market drives down costs, boosts competitiveness and incentivises investment. To complete that circle my priorities are very simple:
- Completing the internal energy market so that it works for business and household consumers by focusing on market design and infrastructure modernisation.
- Creating an investment friendly climate by using as little public funds as needed to trigger as much private investment as possible.
- Bringing forward investment in low carbon technologies through a reformed ETS which will work for industry and the climate.
In a nutshell that is why I believe a modern Energy Union is the key to Europe's competitiveness."
Click here to read Commissioner Arias Cañete’s keynote speech in full.
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling