Europe: “Energy poverty is not an urban legend”

Ursula von der Leyen, the new president of the European Commission, must redefine the new priorities of the European energy policy by harmonizing the security and sustainability of supplies, explain, in a tribune to the “World”, researchers Aurélie and Thierry Bros.

The XXI th  century began there nearly two decades, yet the European energy policy remains steeped in outdated concepts dating back to the last century. It will have been a perpetual update of the so-called inseparable trio: security, competition and sustainability. In other words, to ensure the security of supplies and infrastructures that allow the transport, harmonize and liberalize the European internal energy market, to green as much as possible our energy mix.

Everything seems to have been designed so that every European citizen can access a reliable and cheap source of energy. If this combination is attractive on paper, its application to the quotient raises many challenges, not to say inconsistencies. The reason is simple: the three objectives are incompatible and it is necessary, de facto, to establish an order of preference, or even to exclude one.

It is clear that security has always had primacy. The market has worked willy-nilly over the state intrusions. As for sustainability, it has become the third-class passenger that nobody cares seriously about, except for greenwashing companies .

Inconsistencies and delays for the energy transition

It appears that when it comes to sustainability, the economic and financial crisis of 2008-2009 will have been more effective in reducing greenhouse gas emissions than any regulation stamped European Union. In truth, the only proven solution for reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a perpetual economic recession! Not sure that it enchants European voters!

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Is sustainability not an integral part of security? After all, would it not be the key to our long-term common good in the face of climate change and rising temperatures? The problem is that the definition adopted by Europe goes back to the eve of the First World War, when Winston Churchill decided to abandon the coal and feed the Royal Navy in oil.

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