Countries in the European Union should develop and deploy new clean energy technologies, including recycling facilities, speedily in order to tackle climate change, according to EU commissioner for environment Stavros Dimas.
Speaking to delegates at the EUs Sustainable Energy Week Forum in Brussels, Belgium (9 February), Dimas said the development of new clean energy technologies need to be accelerated.
A European Commission spokeswoman said: We are looking to switch the economy that is based on carbon into a low carbon economy. This could use recycling techniques and renewable techniques.
The spokeswoman said that technologies such as anaerobic digestion could be included in the plan.
Dimas said that the EC is proposing a dramatic increase in research, development and demonstration of energy technologies worldwide. He said: We need quickly to double spending back to its levels in the 1980s and then double this again by 2020. Through greater innovation in low-carbon technologies we will be reducing the cost of emission reductions in the longer run.
And of course, fast deployment critically depends on an enabling regulatory environment: stepping up targets and efforts give the right predictability and incentive to invest in low carbon technologies.
MEPs have called for the EU and other industrialised countries to reach a 25-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and a reduction target of at least 80% by 2050 (see MRW story).
Dimas said: In setting such targets, we will be firing the starting gun in a global race to build a sustainable, low carbon system.
The EU hopes that this December in Copenhagen the international community will develop a new United Nations climate agreement. Copenhagen is the worlds last chance to bring climate change under control before it is too late.
The Sustainable Energy Week Forum is organised by the ECs Directorate-General for Energy and Transport and supported by other EU institutions and key stakeholders.