This year’s Institute for European Studies (IES) Autumn Lecture Series, supported by the Jean Monnet life-long learning programme, focuses on the EU’s energy policy, and discusses the question: how far is the EU’s energy sector from achieving goals of decarbonisation by 2050? The EU’s ambition to reduce emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases by between 80 and 95% by 2050 can only be achieved with almost zero emissions from the energy sector by 2050. How are EU energy policies pushing such dramatic change? What remains to be done for the energy sector to decarbonise? What policy responses are required? What are the challenges for policymakers in meeting the decarbonisation goals? How do current energy policies match up to these ambitions? What sort of consequences will the EU’s move to decarbonisation have on energy relations with current partners? Will new partners emerge to help fulfil the EU’s decarbonisation ambitions? How is the EU’s neighbourhood reacting to the EU’s move to decarbonise?

The lecture series, organised in cooperation with Climate Strategies, WWF and Ecologic, aims to bring these discussions to a wide audience of policymakers, students, academics, members of civil society organisations, industry and concerned citizens. Each lecture will consist of high-level expert speakers in the issue, with time dedicated to discussions with the audience.

UGAF attended the fifth lecture: Decarbonising Transport and Industry.
The lecture consisted of three presentations covering industry and transport perspectives of the EU policy towards decarbonisation. Hans Bergman from DG Clima gave an overview of the EU objectives to low energy roadmap for 2050, where we stand on implementation and the actions taken by the industry. As a conclusion he recognized that reaching these goals is challenging. Many opportunities already exist, but more research, innovation and support for development and action is needed at all levels. According to Bergman, a global agreement and international action continue to be key elements to solve the equation of having a thriving industry as well as a low carbon economy.

Tom van Lier from Vrije Universiteit Brussel concentrated on transport sector. He told about building it on the four A’s: Awareness, Avoidance, Action and Anticipation.

Jos Dings from Transport and Environment was critical about the EU transport emissions. EU has good goals but the road to implement them has to be different. He pointed out carbon and transport pricing as key pillar for change. Suggestions put forward involved a greening tax, optimal use of e-mobility and changing the incentives in EU transport spending.
Presentations were followed by a discussion. For more information and to see the slides of the three presentations, click here.

Lectures take place weekly until 12.12.2012. See more information here.