The strategic analysis provided by the ‘Europe in the World’ pamphlet is extremely timely. As Europe struggles within the new context of an interdependent world, the pamphlet opens up a much-needed debate.
We are truly faced with decisions over our strategic choices. We must urgently define the role of the European Union in response to new global challenges. The pamphlet’s message forces us to consider more deeply the concrete actions that could be put into motion straight away.
The ‘Europe in the World’ pamphlet clearly outlines the new world in which we live today. It emphasises that there are both new challenges and new opportunities to be faced. In this new and continually transforming context, the European Union has to play a proactive role in designing and implementing the political choices needed to ensure the prosperity and security of European citizens.
The twin challenges of energy security and climate security are bringing this message to the attention of an increasing range of policy makers across Europe.
The EU and the world need reliable, affordable and sustainable flows of energy. This is a key element for economic development and the achievement of the Lisbon goals. There is an obvious link between security of energy supply, environmental sustain-ability and competitiveness.
The ability of Europe to manage the potential contradictions between climate and energy security will be crucially important not only for Europe, but also for other countries. Europe will set the framework in which producer countries and consumer countries alike can plan for the future.
If we look at energy use and greenhouse gas emissions scenarios, as performed by the International Energy Agency in the World Economic Outlook 2006, world energy consumption will increase about 55% in the next 25 years, mostly dominated by fossil fuels, while global energy-related CO2 emissions will increase, by 2030, by about 50%-60%.
Developing countries account for over three-quarters of the increase in global CO2emissions between 2004 and 2030 in this scenario. China alone is responsible for about 39% of the rise in global emissions and is predicted to overtake the USA as the world’s biggest emitter before 2010.
As the ‘Europe in the World’ pamphlet rightly illuminates, Europe has led the world in developing a coherent response to these twin challenges, but it has failed to match the scale and urgency of the problem.