11th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting, 1 October 2011, Stockholm
A half-day-long Energy Efficiency Watch session was part of EUFORES 11th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting on 1 October 2011 in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm.
The parliamentarians from around 20 national European parliaments attended the conference and engaged in the discussion. Challenges in the EU internal energy market, new Energy Efficiency Directive, missing ambition of energy efficiency national policies and a lot more was presented by several speakers to the IPM participants.
The broad energy efficiency community from both public and private sector sat on the panel: Claude Turmes (MEP and Rapporteur for Energy Efficiency Directive), Paul Hodson (Head of Energy Efficiency Unit, European Commission), Nils Borg (eceee), Fiona Riddoch (Coalition for Energy Savings) and Brook Riley (Friends of the Earth Europe).
Almost all speakers headed towards the fact that Europe still lacks focus on energy efficiency and has not grasped the full potential of energy efficiency in the economy growth.
Nils Borg from eceee took the challenge and tried to outline why energy efficiency policies so often fail. Energy Efficiency Watch project, of which he and other six institutions are part, currently runs the broad EU-wide survey on the implementation status of the Energy Services Directive. The survey is still ongoing; however, it already clearly shows that most respondents do not see their national energy efficiency policies to be ambitious enough.
Coalition for Energy Savings, an alliance of business, professional and civil society associations with the goal to put more emphasis on energy efficiency and savings, was represented at the conference by Fiona Riddoch. She made a very strong case presenting energy efficiency as an engine of economic recovery.
"Is energy efficiency bad for economic growth?" continued Brook Riley from Friends of the Earth and disputed this often stated argument against energy efficiency. He, on the contrary, developed the idea further and presented energy efficiency as a tool to overcome not only economy but also energy security problems in Europe. Brook also presented energy savings obligations as a transformative business model. "So why not save on our energy bills especially in the times of crisis?" he finished.
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Photo: 11th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting, Parliament of Sweden