State of the Union: smarter energy use creates jobs and growth

Date: 27 September 2016

Smarter energy use combined with ambitious climate action creates new jobs and growth and is the best investment in Europe’s future and in the modernisation of our economy, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, has said in his 2016 State of the Union address.

Speaking in Strasbourg on 14 September, President Juncker noted that work towards a single market where energy can flow freely and no EU country is left isolated has progressed over the last year.

On interconnecting EU countries’ energy systems, President Juncker highlighted an agreement between Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland to end the energy isolation of the Baltic Sea region.

The Commission has also supported new pipelines between Estonia and Finland as well as connectors linking the natural gas grids of Greece, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Austria. This will allow natural gas from the Caspian region and liquefied natural gas from other sources to reach Central Europe, he said.

On energy security, President Juncker noted the new measures on energy security that were published in February this year aimed at minimising interruptions to supply. The measures promote solidarity between EU countries to ensure that households and essential social services are protected in times of crisis.

The new rules also included a tightening of intergovernmental gas agreements to ensure compliance with EU law, he stated.

Turning to climate change, President Juncker noted that the EU signed the Paris Agreement on climate change in April 2016. The agreement offers a last chance to hand over to future generations a more stable world, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies, he said.

In 2014, the EU agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030.

Source: European Commission – Energy News