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Energy and Climate Policy - Europe Is Not Alone

Press Release of February 5, 2014

To date, the European Union has been at the forefront of international climate protection. But there are now a number of other countries also pursuing a proactive energy and climate policy. They are increasingly investing in renewable energies, exploiting potential energy efficiencies in industry, buildings and transportation, and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through carbon prices. If Europe remains at the forefront of these developments, this would enable it not only to retain its credibility on global climate protection but also to improve the security of its energy supply, increase investments and innovations in growth industries thereby creating new employment opportunities. An ambitious energy and climate policy does not come at the expense of the competitiveness of the European economy. The proportion of energy costs is low in many parts of industry: For 92 percent of value added in the industrial sector, the ratio of energy costs to turnover is an average of 1.6 percent. Only in very few sectors are energy costs a factor in location decisions. For these sectors, there are exemption regulations so that climate programs do not cause a distortion of competition. Instead, the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum highlights the importance of an innovative environment. Germany and some other European countries are among the leaders with respect to green patents. The future implementation of the energy transition and the design of the 2030 targets will determine if Europe stays among the leaders.