More EU Investment For sustainable Technologies

More EU Investment For sustainable Technologies

150 events in 19 European countries are bringing together all sustainable energy stakeholders as Brussels celebrates its third edition of More EU investment for sustainable technologiesthe European Sustainable week. With energy efficiency at the heart of most discussions, natural refrigerants such as hydrocarbons, hold great hopes for concrete solutions to strengthen current legislation.

From 09 to 16 February, actors from the political, industrial and social scene are discussing mostly in Brussels, Belgium, current and future policies that will help the European Union competitively endorse its role as global climate change leader. A review of existing legislation and the announcement of more binding energy policies pave the way for greater financial support in the development of natural refrigerants and higher efficiency standards to rule out environmentally unfriendly chemicals.

Economic crisis a win-win situation for green technologies

A recurring belief that the economic crisis was to be overcome as a green stepping stone made its way in all talks of the various conferences. As Mechtild Rothe, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, put it in her introductory speech:” the current economic crisis is a historical opportunity to create new and better energy”. A strong belief has developed that the western world needs to leave its old ways and fossil fuel energy far behind to face current economic and climate challenges.

Financing research and development

Stavros Dimas, the EU Environment Commissioner, described the current state of play as a world “entering its third industrial revolution, one of a low-carbon economy”. Confirming what had been put forward last week in the European Commission’s Communication for Copenhagen, he insisted on the importance of allocating at least double the financial resources given today to R&D in clean technologies.

Great investment in renewables

Claude Turmes, a front-runner MEP in the adoption of the December 08 EU Renewables Directive, said that considerable investment in renewables and energy efficiency was the key to the EU 2020 target to cut GHG emissions by 20%, increase renewables by 20% and improve energy efficiency by 20% (20-20-20 target). He added that a growing group of MEPs were getting together in the co-decision procedure -whereby the European Parliament has equal weight to the European Commission in the adoption of a given legislation- to make sure that the EU recovery plan would also include financial support to green technologies such as heat pumps.

Revision and better implementation of EU legislation

The up and coming revision of both the Ecodesign Directive and the Buildings Directive but also a planned 2009 Communication on energy are signs that concrete binding measures should be taken by the EU to make sure that Member States can comply with their 20-20-20 target. This would be a clear opportunity for natural refrigerants under the Ecodesign Directive and under future energy efficiency measures.

The Covenant of Mayors

This week was also the official launch of the Covenant of Mayors, a document by which EU cities agree to develop and implement local schemes to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020. Mayors from more than 350 cities across Europe signed the text in a bid to actively promote energy efficiency in their cities. Budapest Mayor Gabor Demszky said he was confident the agreement “can actually become the new driving force behind the new European climate policy.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told his European counterparts that his city would aim to reduce emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and backed the EU plan as well.


The EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is an annual event that takes place over one week in Brussels, Belgium. It aims at being a meeting point for many sustainable energy professionals and also be an instrument to involve citizens in the global fight against climate change.

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