Europe is entering a new energy landscape. Our import dependency is 50% today, and certain to rise. Our hydrocarbon reserves are running down. Energy is becoming more expensive. Our infrastructure needs improving; EUR 1000 billion is needed over the next 20 years to meet expected energy demand and replace ageing infrastructure. And global warming has already made the world 0.6°C hotter.
These challenges are common to all of Europe. They require a European response. At the end of 2005, European Heads of State and Government reunited at Hampton Court (United Kingdom) call for a true European Energy Policy.
That is why the European Commission published on 8 March 2006 a Green Paper on developing a common, coherent European Energy Policy. If the EU can take a common approach on energy, and articulate it with a common voice, Europe can lead the global energy debate. The Green Paper will help the European Union lay the foundations for secure, competitive and sustainable energy.