Under the slogan A world you like. With a climate you like, the European Commission today launched a pan-European communication campaign with the support of more than 70 organisations from across Europe. The campaign seeks to put practical solutions at the centre of the climate change debate and demonstrate how climate action can increase welfare and bring economic benefits to European citizens.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, launched the campaign at an event, Visions for a world you like, held in London's City Hall. Campaign partners and citizens joined Commissioner Hedegaard, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey and other speakers to kick off the debate on climate solutions. The discussions are being streamed live on the campaign's Facebook page and contributions can be made on Twitter at #worldulike.
"We have a choice: We can ACT on our knowledge about climate change. Or we can sit idly by and watch as things get worse. Both options come with a price tag. So why not create a world we like, with a climate we like - while we still have time? With this campaign we want to focus the debate on the solutions and find out what is holding us back from applying them," Commissioner Hedegaard said.
Running until the end of 2013, the campaign aims to showcase existing cost-efficient solutions for achieving the EU's objective of an 80-95% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The campaign is a follow-up to the Commission's Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, which sets out pathways for deep but cost-effective emission reductions by the main economic sectors.
Across Europe there are abundant examples of intelligent, innovative climate solutions that reduce CO2 pollution while also improving people's quality of life. For example, Stockholm's central rail station converts the excess body heat of commuters into heat for a nearby office building, reducing not only emissions but also the building's energy bill by 20-25%.
Such "win-win" solutions – where saving money, time and emissions go hand in hand – are at the heart of the communication campaign.
Centred on a website soon to be available in all 23 EU languages, the campaign is designed as a platform for participation where individuals, businesses and local groups will be able to upload, promote and discuss their low-carbon solutions and take part in a pan-European contest to find the best and most original ones.
Partnerships with like-minded organisations are a central part of the campaign. More than 70 organisations are already confirmed campaign partners, including business associations, universities, non-governmental organisations and government institutions. The intention is to enrol more partners as the campaign evolves.
More events will follow in a number of Member States, including Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and Portugal, in the course of 2012-2013.