In a crucial May 22nd summit, the European Council failed to show the much needed vision and leadership towards clean energy and phasing out of fossil fuels.
Europe’s political leaders appeared reluctant to cut policy ties with the EU’s dependency on fossil fuels and tied the need for low-cost energy and industrial competitiveness to “silver bullet” options, such as shale gas. Although the summit conclusions reaffirmed the “implementation of all other related legislation, such as the Directive on the promotion of renewable energies [and the Regulation on security of gas supply]”, it implied that renewable energy is not cost-effective, at least in the present state of affairs.
According to a statement before the summit by Jason Anderson, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF’s European Policy Office:
“those with narrow vested interests are trying to hang progressive climate policies with the rope of rising energy prices. They demand a halt to climate policy and a focus on new fossil fuels in order to maintain competitiveness; but this is a deliberate diversion from the real challenges Europe must overcome to secure prosperity for all: rising fossil fuel bills, slow progress creating modern integrated and competitive markets, and continued weakness on energy savings.”