European Future Energy Forum 2010: Taking Steps Towards a Global Low Carbon Economy

caitlin Green Prosperity

Lisa Cowan, European Correspondent, Ethical Markets Media, October 2010

The European Energy Forum
(EFEF), described as the younger relative of the annual World Future Energy Forum held in Abu Dhabi, creates opportunity for global collaboration and high level debate. EFEF 2010 took place in London’s Excel Centre from the 19th-21st October 2010 and gave leading figures the chance to discuss concrete actions to ensure the EU commitment to 20% of EU energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020.
Both initiatives have been developed with Masdar (the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company) as part of its aim to provide leadership in the challenges of climate change and the ever growing demand for energy. The underlying agenda is the long term goal of Abu Dhabi as a global centre of excellence but the benefits created by this agenda are many. EFEF 2010 brought together many of the people who can make a real difference to sustainability of European energy provision, creating an atmosphere of learning and lively debate. As pointed out by Chris Huhne, (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, UK) in his welcome speech:
“Despite sitting on the world’s seventh-largest oil reserves, the UAE’s political and capital investment in renewable technology is a lesson in forward-thinking…. in pushing for international partnership on low-carbon growth, it shows an understanding of the scale of the challenge.”

The overriding message of the conference was one of dialogue and partnership, a real sense of each party seeking to both contribute and learn how best to stimulate the green economy. In a written message His Royal Highness Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, shared:

“Among other things, the European Future Energy Forum is a major opportunity to form partnerships and facilitate investment. The challenge of developing and deploying clean technologies is global and will not be met without co-operation and knowledge sharing.”
Additional contributions came from leading figures from industry, government and NGO’s including;

·         David Cameron, UK Prime Minister

·         H.E Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

·         Pedro Marin, Secretary of State for Energy, Spain,

·         Carlos Zorrinho, Vice Minister for Energy and Innovation, Portugal,

·         David Howell, Baron Howell of Guildford, Minister of State for Commonwealth Affairs, UK

·         Lykke Friis, Minister for Climate and Energy, Denmark.

·         Boris Johnson, Mayor of London

·         Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, CEO & Managing Director, Masdar

·         Peter Löscher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Siemens AG

·         Gilles Vermot-Desroches, Senior Vice President, Sustainable Development, Schneider Electric

It will be interesting to watch out for the success stories of collaboration and partnership which result from EFEF10. Thomas Dalsgaard, head of group regulatory affairs at DONG Energy, laid down the gauntlet for country leaders to ‘compete’ on becoming champions of renewable energy saying
“It will be the most ambitious countries that will host the industrialisation of the renewable sector.”
The next World Future Energy Forum to be held in Abu Dhabi from the 17th-20th January 2011 should give some early indications of who is rising to the challenge.