European Commission promotes efficient living to improve welfare

October 9th, 2012 by European Commission

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, launched on 8 October 2012 a pan-European communication campaign in collaboration with more than 70 organisations from across Europe.

Under the slogan “A world you like. With a climate you like” the campaign seeks to put practical solutions at the centre of the climate change debate and demonstrate how climate action can increase welfare and bring economic benefits to European citizens.

Across Europe there are abundant examples of intelligent, innovative climate solutions that reduce CO2 pollution while also improving people’s quality of life.

For example, Stockholm’s central rail station converts the body heat of commuters into heat for a nearby office building, reducing not only emissions but also the building’s energy bill by 20-25%.

In Denmark, the Gedved school in Horsens saves €30,000 a year on energy thanks to solar power. The money saved is spent on improving education.

The BedZed community in Hackbridge has highly energy efficient buildings, with passive ventiliation with heat recovery, and photovoltaic panels (click image to expand - ©RLLord)

Such “win-win” solutions – where saving money, time and greenhouse gas emissions go hand in hand – are at the centre of the communication campaign launched by Commissioner Hedegaard at London’s City Hall on 8 October 2012.

“We have a choice: We can ACT on our knowledge about climate change. Or we can sit idly by and watch as things get worse. Both options come with a price tag. So why not create a world we like, with a climate we like – while we still have time?”

“With this campaign we want to focus the debate on the solutions and find out what is holding us back from applying them,” Connie Hedegaard said.

Centred on a website which will soon be available in all 23 EU languages, the campaign is designed as a platform for participation where individuals, businesses and local groups will be able to upload, promote and discuss their low-carbon solutions and take part in a pan-European contest to find the best and most original one.

Partnerships with like-minded organisations are a central part of the campaign.

More than 70 organisations are already confirmed campaign partners, including business associations, universities, non-governmental organisations and government institutions. The intention is to enrol more partners as the campaign evolves.

'A world you like with a climate you like' campaign poster (click image to expand - image courtesy of the European Commission)

At the launch event “Visions for a world you like”, campaign partners and citizens have joined Commissioner Hedegaard, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey and other speakers to kick off the debate.

The discussions are being streamed live on the campaign’s Facebook page and contributions can be made on Twitter.

More events will follow in a number of Member States, including Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Portugal, in the course of 2012-2013.

The campaign will run until the end of 2013 and aims to showcase existing cost-efficient solutions for achieving the EU’s objective of an 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

It is a follow-up to the Commission’s “Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050” from March 2011, which sets out pathways for deep but cost-effective emission reductions by the main economic sectors.

The Roadmap shows that building a low-carbon economy will increase investments in clean technologies and infrastructure such as smart electricity grids, and will drastically lower import bills for oil and gas.

In the medium-term, by 2020, the EU aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20%, improve energy efficiency by 20% and boost the share of renewables in the energy mix to 20%. Currently, EU emissions are more than 17% below 1990 levels.


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