Europe can shift to a low-carbon economy, enjoy secure energy supply, environmentally sustainable development, and rising employment. On 10 March 2011, the European Commission presented its "Roadmap 2050" in Berlin, Germany, exposing divisions within the German Federal Government. R. Andreas Kraemer of Ecologic Institute moderated the event.
With the "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" [pdf, 62.6 kB, English] the European Commission is looking beyond the 2020 energy and climate objectives and setting out a plan to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century as agreed by European Heads of State and governments. It shows how the sectors responsible for Europe's emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy over the coming decades (see the European Commission web site on the Roadmap 2050).
The Roadmap 2050 is underpinned by the Energy Efficiency Plan 2011[pdf, 121 kB, English], which was also presented at the event in Berlin on 10 March 2011. In many ways, energy efficiency can be seen as Europe's biggest energy resource. This is why the Union has set itself a target for 2020 of saving 20% of its primary energy consumption compared to projections, and why this objective was identified in the Commission’s Communication on Energy 2020 as a key step towards achieving our long-term energy and climate goals (see the European Commission web site on Energy Efficiency).
- Matthias Petschke, Head of the Berlin Representation of the European Commission hosted and opened the event.
- Artur Runge-Metzger, Director for International and Climate Strategy, and Director for Mainstreaming, Adaptation and Low-Carbon Technology in the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission, presented the Roadmap 2050 and Energy Efficiency Plan 2011, followed by two comments from representatives of the German federal government:
- Urban Rid, Head of Department for Climate Protection, Environment and Energy, Renewable Energy, and International Cooperation at the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) largely agreed with the strategic vision, the goals, objectives, measures and timetables of the European Commission; and
- Werner Ressing, Head of Department for Industrial Policy in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Technology (BMWI) disagreed with both the European Commission and the BMU not only on the strategic vision and the long-term objective, but also on the energy, economic and social analysis underpinning the Roadmap 2050.
- The ensuing public argument was enriched by contributions from Kurt-Christian Scheel, Head of Department for Climate and Sustainable Development at the Federation of German Industries (BDI).