Slovenian Presidency Statement on the Presentation of the Climate and Energy Package

IndustrySouth-East European INDUSTRIAL Мarket - issue 1/2008

The Slovenian Presidency of the EU Council welcomes today’s presentation of the climate and energy package by the European Commission. The legislative package - entitled “20 20 by 2020, Europe’s Climate Change Opportunity” - has been eagerly awaited. It aims to translate into practice the European Union’s political commitment, as undertaken by EU leaders last March, to turn Europe into a low-carbon, highly energy-efficient economy.

Following the commitment undertaken by the European Council in spring 2007, the climate and energy package has become one of the EU’s top priorities. The Slovenian Presidency will study the package very carefully and start a debate on it at all levels straight away, with the aim of arriving at a framework for future work and obtaining the first tangible results of the debate as soon as possible.

We are counting on the constructive approach and support of the Member States and the European Parliament leading to final adoption of the package by spring 2009 at the latest.

On the other hand, the Presidency also believes that the efforts required of particular Member States and particular industries must be balanced and proportionate and must take individual circumstances into account. The guiding principles must be fairness and solidarity.

In March 2007, the EU committed itself to reducing greenhouse gases by at least 20% and to increasing to 20% the share of renewable energies in energy consumption by 2020. By doing so, Europe also stepped into the front line of the global fight against climate change. This was confirmed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali in December 2007.

For the EU to continue to take the lead in tackling climate change, facing up to the challenge of secure, sustainable and competitive energy, we need to take decisions on the key elements of the package. This would send a clear signal to industry, researchers and consumers as to how we will achieve our ambitious goals of transforming Europe into a low-carbon, highly energy-efficient economy. This would, in turn, create a stable and predictable environment for investors and researchers in the sectors of energy and the environment.