EU's new campaign asserts climate action saves money

 

CONNIE HEDEGAARD, European commissioner for climate action, yesterday launched a multimedia campaign under the slogan “A world you like. With a climate you like”, to show climate action could bring economic benefits to European citizens.

She said: “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?”

Ms Hedegaard, speaking at the launch in London’s City Hall, said the aim of the campaign was to focus the debate on numerous examples of “intelligent, innovative climate solutions” to reduce carbon dioxide “and find out what is holding us back from applying them”.

She cited the example of Stockholm’s central railway station, which 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 per cent – a “win-win solution”.

The campaign is centred on a website that will soon be available in all 23 official EU languages. It is designed as a participation platform where individuals, businesses and local groups will be able to upload, promote and discuss low-carbon solutions.

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

The EU’s objective is to achieve an 80-95 per cent reduction in emissions by 2050. In the meantime, by 2020, the EU aims to reduce emissions, improve energy efficiency and boost the share of renewables in the energy mix – all by 20 per cent.

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.

It will also include a pan-European competition to find the “best and most original” climate change solution. More events will follow in a number of EU member states, including Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Portugal over the next 15 months.

The London launch, which was also attended by the new British energy and climate change secretary, Ed Davey, was streamed live on the campaign’s Facebook page ( facebook.com/EUClimateAction) with contributions welcomed on Twitter at #worldulike.

The campaign website is at world-you-like.europa.eu