(EU) PES/EP/ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT: Party of European Socialists to launch initiative on energy and climate change
Brussels, 04/04/2006 (Agence Europe) - The Party of European Socialists (PES) presided by former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen had decided during the meeting of its leaders on 10 March in Prague to take an initiative on energy policy and climate change. Also, last week, the Party presidency sketched out the priorities of such an initiative, the aim of which is to contribute, with emphasis on “Social Democrat values”, to the discussion opened by the presentation of the Commission's Green Paper discussed during the Spring Summit of 23 and 24 March, a press release states. In this context, the PES plans to pay special attention to the impact of high energy prices on poorer consumers, as well as to the job creation and growth potential of emerging energy sectors, the press release states. The PES recalls that the Commission must put forward a real strategy by the end of the year, to be approved by the European Spring Council 2007 under German Presidency.
The press release, which recognises that there are many different opinions on the nuclear option expressed among EU Socialist and European Social Democrat leaders, points out that Poul Nyrup Rasmussen outlined the four main elements of such an initiative by the PES for: - addressing security of supply concerns (mainly since the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine early this year); - the need for coherence between climate change and energy policy (the press release recalls that many of the Kyoto Protocol signatories are not currently on track to meet the commitments that they signed up to and that only a few countries are working towards ambitious long-term goals to reduce emissions); - considering the “development and take-up of renewable energy sources as a strong pillar of a new energy policy” (the PES suggests doubling the target set so far for renewable energies); - and investing in energy efficiency.
In concrete terms, the PES will be organising a consultation by June with decision-makers from the different Member States (mainly coordination meetings before the meetings of the Energy, Environment, Economy and Finance, External Relations, and Development Councils), and, between June and November, it will set up a working group on climate change. The Party will above all consult the European Parliament Socialist Group, the trade unions and the main NGOs concerned on this subject.
Energy policy, which had played a key role in the discussions at the Spring Summit in Brussels in March, is also due to be one of the main themes of the G8 Summit (with Russia) in Saint Petersburg in July.