Twelve years. According to the latest IPCC report, that’s how long we have left to make sure global warming doesn’t increase beyond 1.5C. Waiting any longer or allowing temperatures to rise above this limit risks “irreversible impacts.” Climate change is an urgent issue that demands global action. Following the Paris Climate Agreement, Europe has embraced the clean power transition and set itself a goal of becoming the world’s number one in renewables. This requires significant efforts from policymakers to achieve the political goals of decarbonising the economy, achieving world leadership in renewables and ensuring a secure supply of energy to Europe’s 500 million energy consumers.
At the same time, digitisation of all sectors of the economy will soon make data centres some of the major consumers of electric power. The tech sector needs to keep working to build and operate greener datacentres that will serve the world well, which means the corporate demand for renewable energy will only increase.
The recent adoption of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) demonstrates progress on achieving EU targets and encourages greater corporate participation in Europe’s energy transition. But to scale private investments in climate innovations required to meet these targets, the EU needs €180 billion in extra investment every year until 2030. And to carry out the European long-term vision of a climate-neutral economy by 2050, investments of €520 billion are needed every year.
EURACTIV organised this Stakeholder Debate to discuss how Europe can achieve the ambitious long-term climate goals. Questions included:
- How can the EU fill the investment gap to scale climate innovations needed to meet the EU targets?
- How should EU Member States go about transposing the Renewable Energy Directive and bringing practical solutions to the complex challenge of expanding the availability of renewable energy in Europe, while advancing their economies and competitiveness? What comes first?
- What are the remaining challenges facing the renewable energy market today and how can the Clean Energy Package increase access to renewable energy in Europe? What are the practical steps needed now that the Renewable Energy Directive is adopted?
- What is the role of companies in securing a clean energy future and how can we secure more corporate involvement in the production, distribution and consumption of renewable energy?
- Is the right technology available for expanding the availability of renewable energy in Europe? What more is needed?
- Can access to clean energy provide countries with a competitive advantage in the future?
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