Published: Tue, 08 December 2015
“We must remember to keep the energy consumer in mind as we put plans in place to decarbonise the global economy,” said Seán Kelly MEP, at a special event in the Irish Embassy in Paris, held alongside the UN Global Climate Change Conference last night (Monday), hosted by Ireland’s Ambassador to France, Geraldine Byrne Nason, and organised by University College Dublin.
Mr Kelly, the only Irish MEP to represent the European Parliament at the COP21 negotiations, continued: “The EU delegation is pushing for an ambitious, global, inclusive and legally binding agreement that puts us on a sustainable path to limiting dangerous rises in global temperatures to 2oC compared to pre-industrial levels and we have great hope that this can be achieved.”
“In order to meet our objectives, we need to move away from fossil fuels and one of the ways to do this effectively is to promote investment in renewable energy. A strong and binding global agreement will, in my opinion, send the perfect signal to investors to put money into low carbon and integrated energy systems and ensure that their uptake is greatly increased.”
Mr Kelly pointed out that the EU needs to greatly increase research and development into developing more efficient technologies and improve the operability of our energy system.
Energy System Integration (ESI) can help us in moving towards a more cost-competitive and less price volatile energy market and also reduce our consumption of fossil fuels for a better environment, reducing dependence on energy imports, according to MEP Kelly.
“Integrated systems such as combined Heat and Power technology and hybrid renewable energy systems for example, offer flexible solutions that empower consumers to keep energy prices low and lower the risk of pushing people into energy poverty.
“We also we need to improve the information available to consumers about how they can improve the efficiency of their own energy use. Innovations like smart metering, for example, can really help in this regard,” he added.
Overall, Mr Kelly stressed that nothing less than an inclusive, global and binding agreement will suffice from COP21: “We must also ensure that we put in place a fair deal that preserves economic growth and jobs. We can’t afford to lose jobs and growth to carbon leakage.”