" "OUR FORECASTS SHOW THAT INTRODUCINGCOST-EFFECTIVEMEASURES COULDREDUCE THE EU'SPRIMARY ENERGYDEMAND BY 30 PER CENT BY 2050 he world has witnessed quite dramaticevents already this year. There has beenextreme flooding in Australia, extremedrought in China and the earthquake inJapan, followed by a nuclear crisis. We have witnessedthe uprising in the Middle East, of which we have notseen the end yet. However diverse these events mightseem at first sight, they all make a compelling case formore ambitious global climate action. All these events have contributed to a rise in foodprices all over the world and have pushed oil prices tothe highest level since before the economic crisis. Thatis why the world needs a more sustainable growthmodel, a model which uses less resources and energy.This vision is not only a plea to promote growth thatrespects the physical and biological limits of theplanet. It is also a vision with huge economic andinnovation potential that can also make us morecompetitive in the future.With the 2050 Roadmap for moving to a competitivelow-carbon economy, the European Commission putforward such a long-term vision. The Roadmap sets outa cost-efficient pathway for the EU to reduce itsdomestic emissions by 80-95 per cent by the middleof this century - which is the EU's fair share of theglobal effort to halve greenhouse gas emissions andkeep global warming below 2°C. The low-carbon roadmap also defines the effortsneeded by all key economic sectors in the EU. And itgives directions on which will be the key technologiesof the future, so that private companies, householdsand governments know which long term investmentsare worth making. The good news is that these climate-relatedinvestments are a great source of new jobs and a way ofcutting energy costs for business. In just five years,over 300,000 new jobs were created in eco-industriesin Europe. It is a fast-growing and dynamic sector that according to estimations already employs 3.4million people in Europe, more than the steel,pharmaceuticals or automotive sectors. If we step upclimate action, another 1.5 million net jobs could becreated over the next decade.Just a few examples: the environmental portfolio of alarge engineering company in 2009 represented 30per cent of its total revenues, with around 100,000employees already working in the green sector. A carmaker produces car models made of recycled plasticsthat are recyclable and recoverable to a high degree. In addition, the group has reduced overall energyconsumption per vehicle by 17 per cent between2002 and 2009, and decreased its overall greenhouseemissions by 32 per cent since 2003. An electronicsproducer has set a target to improve its energyefficiency from 2010-2015 by 50 per cent and toincrease the sales of green products to 50 per cent by2015. One of these products is a new type of energy-saving lighting solution for municipalities, householdsand businesses. Our forecasts show that introducing cost-effectivemeasures could reduce the EU's primary energydemand by 30 per cent by 2050 and make us save bybetween EUR 175 billion and EUR 320 billion peryear on average fuel costs. By 2050, the EU couldhalve its imports of oil and gas - representing a savingof three per cent of today's GDP. Much of the requiredadditional investment expenditure for climatemeasures can be recovered from what we save onenergy costs. Money that now flows abroad for2050 ROADMAP A VISION FOR SUSTAINABLE GROWTH052SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENTCONNIE HEDEGAARD, COMMISSIONER FOR CLIMATE ACTION, EUROPEAN COMMISSION (EC)TPhoto: © European Union 2011
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT053Right: Connie Hedegaard,Commissioner for ClimateAction, EuropeanCommisssionimporting oil and gas can be invested in our domesticmanufacturing industries and services instead.All over the world countries and companies are seizingthese opportunities. Emerging countries like China, forinstance, have made low-carbon and energy-efficienttechnologies a main focus of their growth strategies.Now, at least 89 counties have pledged domesticemission reductions, including quite a number ofEurope's key partners from around the world, such as China, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India, Japanand Korea. What countries have committed to internationally isdriven to a significant extent by domestic agendas toincrease energy security and competitiveness in keygrowth sectors and accelerate innovation. And it is veryencouraging to see how increasingly more countriesare considering emissions trading systems as the mostcost effective tool to achieve these goals. The current emission reduction pledges by developedand developing countries, however, are not sufficientfor meeting the global goal of keeping global warmingbelow 2°C. Analysis by UNEP shows that currentpledges only bring us 60 per cent towards the target.So it is important that the EU's ambitious long-termemissions reduction plan is met by similar low-carbondevelopment plans by other parts of the world. The EUcannot stop climate change alone, as it is onlyresponsible for about 12 per cent of global greenhousegas emissions. Therefore it is important that we keep fighting for anambitious, comprehensive legally-binding global dealon climate action. Regrettably we have still a long andchallenging way ahead of us to reach that objective. Sothe road to the Durban conference in South Africa atthe end of this year is not going to be an easy one. Lastyear, in Cancun, the international community hasproven yet that it is possible to move on - step by step.The emission reduction pledges and the 2°C targetagreed in Copenhagen are now enshrined in an officialUN document; we set up frameworks for co-operationon adaptation and technology; developed countriesproved that they are delivering on short term climatefinancing and for the longer term, a Green ClimateFund was set up. Last but not least, we took importantsteps forward towards achieving real transparencyabout the different countries' mitigation actions.Now, in the run-up to Durban, we have to make allthese Cancun agreements operational. Yet we alsoneed to take new steps forward. For the EU it is clearthat ambitious global climate action cannot beachieved if we only use public funding; we also need toraise private funding through carbon markets andclimate-related business activities, which are takingoff all over the world. To raise climate funding the EU would like to work withdeveloping countries to develop some new, sectoralcarbon markets. We want to include the aviation andmaritime sector; it is simply not logical that these trulyglobal means of transport are excluded from theinternational regulations. Clever climate policies are not about climate alone; they also improve energy security, stimulateinnovation, raise competitiveness, and createeconomic growth and jobs. While governments have toset the right conditions and take further efforts tophase out fossil fuel subsidies -which would createincentives to use energy more efficiently - the privatesector has a key role to play in delivering solutions,undertaking the investment and technologicalinnovation needed, providing finance for mitigationand adaptation, adopting lower-carbon productionprocesses, and encouraging more climate-consciouspurchasing decisions by consumers. Together we canrealise this vision of a more sustainable global growth.But we have to start now. nABOUT THE AUTHORConnie Hedegaard joined the European Commissionas Commissioner for Climate Action, a new portfolio,in 2010. Her ambition is to see Europe become themost climate-friendly region in the world by the endof her five-year mandate.Prior to moving to the Commission, ConnieHedegaard was Denmark's Minister for Climate and Energy, and before that for Environment. She was elected member of the Danish parliament in1984 at the age of 23, and from 1990 to 2004 sheworked as a journalist and columnist for various TVand print media.