Towards a low carbon economy in the Danube Region, Brussels, July 9, 2013



The energy sector within the East Central and Southeast European part of the Danube  Region is characterized by a couple of common problems: these are, besides others, high energy prices, lacking security of supply, high dependency from individual suppliers, deficient infrastructure, a non-efficient energy consumption and a low share of renewables in the energy mix. The necessity of both reducing the dependency from non-sustainable fossil resources and curbing global warming provide strong incentives for rebuilding the economy in the direction of a low carbon model.
The EU is presently engaged in discussing a common line as concerns climate policies and clean energy targets for 2030 and onwards. Even with the present EU regulatory framework, EU member states and (potential) candidate countries alike are confronted with pressing challenges of meeting targets and directives regulating Energy Efficiency (EE), the use of Renewable Energy Sources (RES), and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. The EU 2020 goals are most prominent in this respect. Clearly, in the Danube Region, we can observe both a certain “climate skepticism” and a reluctance as concerns the introduction of new RES. Here, the European Strategy for the Danube Region with its activities under Priority Area 2 serves as a potential catalyst for enhancing a sustainable energy system in the region.
The conference tries to meet a number of goals:

  • To better understand the dynamics and direction of EU and global clean energy and climate policy targets, as articulated by leading actors and experts in the field.
  • To analyze the energy characteristics dominant in the countries of the Danube Region and the specific interests, constraints and problems of proceeding to a low carbon economy.
  • To identify opportunities and levers in the Danube Region in order to overcome existing deadlocks and blockades for meeting European and global targets on the one hand and for providing energy security and affordability on the other hand. What is and should be the role of the EUSDR in this respect? What are the potential business opportunities deriving from a redirection of energy policies?
  • To learn from “best practices” in other countries like Germany, a country that has decided to take a radical turn-around of energy policies with its “Energiewende”. Here, the details of how to implement and finance this shift are still a matter of domestic debate. How can the German experiences – including local “success stories” of EE and RES use, but also conflicts of interests not resolved yet – be made fruitful for the Danube Region?

The conference gathered experts, stakeholders and policy actors from the field of energy and climate politics, with a special interest and focus on EE and RES, from Brussels institutions, from academia, from business and from the national and local level. Representatives from politics, administration, business and experts from the Danube region constitute another important target group of the event.

Programme of the event: click here

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