Judit Szoleczky, INFORSE-Europe, editor.
Sustainable Energy News, was invited to participate in
the First Annual Conference of the EU awareness campaign
the energy landscape forever. In addition, Emil Bedi participated on
behalf of INFORSE-Europe.
The conference was attended by about 300 participants in Brussels; and
about 600 through the internet.
The main theme of this first conference was energy efficiency as a major European
challenge. The energy commissioner, Andris Piebals, held a press conference
and opened the event. We learned that the commissioner is deeply committed
to the awareness-raising campaign. His answer for a question from the audience
about how much he himself has been more aware of his own energy consumption
since the campaign started gave a personal touch to the conference.
Presentations from DG TREN and from the European Parliament explained the legal
framework and the expected results of the campaign.
Successful examples were given of commitment at various levels, along with
discussions of how to formulate successful plans and proposals. Examples
given of success included some from committed municipalities (e.g., Stockholm,
to clean vehicles), consumer and industry associations (e.g., labelling refrigerators,
washing machines), and NGOs (WWF rating products, Energie-Cities spreading
good practice, and advice how to make energy a little more “sexy” subject).
The audience had also proposals: e.g., recycle rather than reuse old inefficient
washing machines and refrigerators, labelling smaller kitchen machines such
as toasters, and making the industry provide information on the electricity
consumption of VHS, DVD recorders and players as well as of television sets.
It raised the question of how much the market will do voluntarily and how much
must be made compulsory.
During the conference, the educational material of the ManageEnergy Kids Corner
was also presented, which is planned to be translated in all European languages.
During the debate, INFORSE tried to highlight:
• The positive roles of NGOs in organising local events, and school efforts.
The advantages of synergy with other school efforts made by INFORSE,
ISES and others.
• The possible positive effects involving more women to begin compensating
for their often underrepresentation in energy issues and among decision
Women’s input is all the more vital because often they are more
environmentally conscious, more positive on green energy, and more worried
about consequences of a nuclear accidents. Often, too, they are the ones
who use the kitchen appliances.
From INFORSE, we find that the EU Campaign
is an important step. If there is a real political will that succeeds
as well as municipalities, the EU Campaign could make a big difference.
We look forward to being a partner in this effort and encourage INFORSE-Europe
members to get involved in, e.g., organising Energy-Efficient Day. The
Danish Samsø 100% renewable island initiative is already a partner
and appears in the November Newsletter of the campaign as a showcase
The above article was published in Sustainable
Energy News 51.
We also reported about the Campaign in Sustainable Energy News 50
on page 4.
Read more at the Official
EU Conference site
became Campaign Associates to the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign
Read more on the campaign: www.sustenergy.org