Back to the list

4th annual Euro-Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum discusses important role of energy efficiency for economic growth


Energy policy makers and industry leaders say Europe will not reach its 20 percent energy reduction target by 2020

4th annual Euro-Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum discusses important role of energy efficiency for economic growth

Monaco – March 28, 2014 – For the fourth time, Johnson Controls, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and The Climate Group partnered to host the annual Euro- Mediterranean Energy Efficiency Forum in Monaco. More than 170 European policy and decision makers, private, public, and civil society representatives focused on energy efficiency’s role in Europe’s path to sustainable economic growth.

The attendees discussed the policies necessary to support greater energy efficiency investments and heard examples of best practices where energy efficiency has spurred economic development in addition to comfort, health, productivity and other benefits.

His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco welcomed the forum attendees. In his inaugural speech he emphasised that the timing now seems right for energy efficiency to make a big impact.

“At a time when the future of our planet is subjected to significant threats, at a time when energy-related strategic issues appear to be more controversial than ever before, above all at a time when Europe is struggling to find the mainsprings of new economic growth, this is an objective which we should target together. In this way, we will make energy efficiency a genuine source of shared hope for our planet,” said His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Europe is missing its 20% energy reduction target

Tudor Constantinescu, principal advisor to Dominique Ristori, the Commission's Director- General for energy, outlined the European Commission's thinking and priorities on energy efficiency and commented that the EU was on course to miss its 20 percent reduction target for energy consumption in 2020. He said: "Based on current estimates we may only achieve energy savings between 16 percent and 18 percent. New EU actions and aims for 2030 will be open for discussion with a view to reach a new policy framework in October."

Adrian Joyce, campaign director of Renovate Europe, said retrofitting of old buildings is key to EU success in 2030: "With Europe's very small demolition rate we will still have 90 percent of the current buildings standing in 2050," he said. A binding target for the energy consumption of buildings should be set at around 55 percent, he continued, and the overall energy efficiency target at 40 percent, which together could deliver a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gases. There also needs to be a change of thinking: "We should not be talking about burden sharing, but opportunity sharing," he concluded.

Time is right to push energy efficiency on the EU agenda

Opening the first of three expert panel sessions, Michael Geissler, CEO of the Berlin Energy Agency, said current worries over energy security raised by the crisis in the Ukraine is one factor making the issue of energy efficiency timely for the EU. "Given the tensions between the EU and Russia, energy security may become more important in the next months and perhaps the next few years," he said.

According to panellist Agostino Renna, CEO of GE Lighting in Europe, the Middle-East and Africa three other forces are brewing the "perfect storm" to push energy efficiency up the agenda. Forces include heightened awareness of climate change; the "industrial internet" of embedded devices which "bring together the physical and analytical world"; and companies' renewed embrace of innovation and entrepreneurialism.

Other keynote speakers and panelists included

Marieke van Schaick, managing director of the Dutch Charity Lotteries and the opening speaker at the gala awards dinner of the EEF in Monaco.

  • Serge Durand, President of the French Cap Energie ‘innovation cluster’
  • Jonathan Maxwell , CEO and co-founding partner of Sustainable Development Capital
  • Mark Radka, head of the energy branch, of the UN Environment Programme
  • Paul Wilkinson, professor of environmental epidemiology at the London School of
  • Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
  • Serge de Gheldere, CEO of Futureproofed

2014 Energy Efficiency Innovator Awards program

For the second time, the Forum rewarded individuals or organisations that contributed to the goal of improved energy efficiency. The following awards were presented:

  • Finance Award — Patrick Fankhauser, Co-Founder and Fund Manager SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund

The SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund, launched in 2013 by SUSI Partners is the first private energy efficiency fund for institutional investors, applicable for the energy performance contracting model. The Fund finances energy efficiency retrofits of buildings, manufacturing facilities and public infrastructure by obtaining a share of the energy savings in exchange. In 2013, the SUSI Energy Efficiency Fund successfully financed a first reference project, the retrofit of five public buildings in Monaco. Currently, 65 million euros are ready to be invested in energy efficiency projects.

  • Projects Award — Marieke van Schaik, Managing Director Dutch Post Lottery

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is the largest annual worldwide competition for sustainable entrepreneurs who can reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by innovative products and services. This project represents a remarkable practice to support green initiatives, by ensuring that selected products and services are being brought to market within two years. The first competition was organised in 2007 by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, a charitable organisation in The Netherlands.

  • Communication Award — Arthur Neslen, Environment Correspondent for EurActiv news agency

Arthur Neslen is the Energy, Development and Climate correspondent of EurActiv, the media portal dedicated to EU affairs in Brussels. Arthur covers energy efficiency from a policy- making perspective but looks also very closely at the implementation of specific EU laws by national governments. Through his articles, Arthur is bringing his contribution to the energy efficiency story, helping policy-makers, stakeholders and citizens to understand it better. With more than 20 years of experience in journalism, Arthur previously worked with Guardian News & Media, The Economist, Al Jazeera Media Network and other media outlets.