Europe has had a disjointed year in terms of energy policy, with three different roadmaps and an overabundance of ambitious rhetoric, none of which add up to a coherent plan for energy and climate security, and only piecemeal policies to show for it. Given the long life of energy infrastructure, the pipelines and power stations that are built in the next ten years could be decisive in determining whether Europe’s long-term climate and energy goals are realised.
At the Quaker Council of European Affairs, we are of the view that the European Commission have completely misdiagnosed the energy infrastructure challenge, and we are deeply disappointed that the EU is continuing to insist on outdated energy policies, with its unambitious attachment to ‘old energy’, bureaucratic ways of implementation, and its implicit and persistent reliance on public-private partnerships.
Moreover, we are acutely concerned that the Energy Infrastructure Priorities, which the permit granting procedures are designed to help implement, will lock the EU into levels of energy supply that do not take into account the EU’s existing commitment to energy savings (20% by 2020). It is incoherent and paradoxical to pursue energy infrastructure projects to meet a projected increase in energy demand, at the same time as implementing a policy to reduce energy demand, compromising both Europe’s climate commitments, and its future energy security.