12th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting, 24 November 2012, Athens
In the framework of the Energy-Efficiency-Watch 2 project, a half-day-long session on energy efficiency was organized at the EUFORES 12th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting on 24 November 2012 in the Hellenic Parliament in Athens.
More than 50 representatives of 15 national parliaments as well as representatives of the European Commission, the Greek government, industry, science, media and NGOs took part in the conference. The Inter-Parliamentary Meeting was altogether attended by ca. 110 participants.
The energy efficiency conference was opened by a key-note speech by Yannis Maniatis, Member of Hellenic Parliament and Former Deputy Minister for Environment, Energy and Climate Change. In his speech he stressed the huge untapped potential of energy savings in Greece and explained national challenges related to energy efficiency such as the use of air-conditioning or lack of solar collectors for water heating. Yannis Maniatis introduced the measures taken by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and concluded with the vision of Greece as an energy-self-sufficient country.
The conference consisted of three sessions. First, Nils Borg (eceee) and Efthimios Vidalis (Sustainable Development Committee of the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises) presented the basics of energy efficiency and introduced its potential. Nils Borg argued that energy efficiency should be our main strategy as it is the way to tackle our current challenges such as climate protection, energy security, air quality and related health problems, economy growth and job creation. In addition to this Nils Borg also made an overview of the EU legislation related to energy efficiency. Efthimios Vidalis continued by looking into Greece and where its biggest potential lies. He claimed that there is more than 1 million residential buildings and several thousands of public and commercial buildings in Greece which need refurbishment in order to upgrade their energy performance.
Second, Stefan Thomas (Wuppertal Institute) and Erica Hope (CAN Europe) showcased the status of energy efficiency policies in Europe. Stefan Thomas, who is one of the project partners of the Energy-Efficiency-Watch 2 project, presented the results of the screening of National Energy Efficiency Action Plans and also touched upon the results of the survey on implementation of national energy efficiency policies in the EU. Please see the survey report here.
Third, Hans-Josef Fell (Member of German Parliament), Paul Hodson (European Commission) and Matthieu Ballu (Coalition for Energy Savings) discussed the new Energy Efficiency Directive. Paul Hodson made a thourough overview of the directive and explained some of its binding measures. He also added how the EU will provide guidance to the Member States in implementation of the directive. Hans-Josef Fell encouraged parliamentarians to implement the directive as soon as possible and even to go beyond so that the European economies can grow.
The full programme, presentations and a selection of pictures as well as some more information on the Inter-Parliamentary Meeting can be found here.
Photo: 12th Inter-Parliamentary Meeting, Hellenic Parliament, Athens