European parliament urges investment in low-carbon economy

10:16, March 12, 2010      

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The European Parliament on Thursday urged the European Commission to "put the money where the mouth is" while promising to develop a low-carbon economy in a new 10-year blueprint.

During a debate at the plenary session of the parliament, members of the European Parliament from the Socialist group and the Greens said that the Commission must find the money to develop renewable energy as promised in the Europe 2020 strategy and develop a mechanism to fund the strategy.

The members warned that if the European Union does not invest deeply in R&D in low-carbon technology, education and training, more jobs will go to the United States and China.

Some members suggested "public punishment measures" for EU member states that lack adequate actions in this regard.

European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik said the main sources of finance for low-carbon technology will come from industry and member states.

He said existing institutions such as the European Investment Bank will also help to deliver the EU's promise.

Last week, the European Commission unveiled the Europe 2020 strategy to revitalize economic development of the 27-member bloc. The new strategy plans to increase the share of renewable energy sources in the EU's final energy consumption to 20 percent and ensure a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency by the year 2020.

The new strategy will need endorsement by the European Council at a summit meeting on March 25-26 and it will be translated into national action plans at a summit in June.

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