VCI welcomes the EU Commission’s initiative for a single energy market

Energy Union: a great chance also for the Energiewende

From VCI's viewpoint, the "Energy Union" is a major step towards an efficient EU single energy market. Important issues like reliable energy supplies and affordable energy could be addressed more efficiently now. The topic climate protection however needs thinking across the borders of the continent. VCI proposes to discuss a unique solution on the basis of EU emission trading at the G20 level.

The German chemical industry association VCI welcomes the „Energy Union“, as presented today by the EU Commission. From the association’s viewpoint, this is a major step towards an efficient EU single energy market. VCI director-general Utz Tillmann states: „The EU realises that many energy supply problems can be solved only in a Europe-wide approach. These problems concern us in Germany too. Therefore, the Energy Union is a great chance also for the German energy transition called Energiewende. For years we have been working nationally on issues like reliable energy supplies and affordable energy, without really making good progress. Such issues can be addressed more effectively at the EU level, within a genuine single energy market.”

Tillmann highlights the Commission’s plans for more competition in energy markets and for more independence from external economic crises. But the draft for the Energy Union also shows an overly strong tendency of remaining within the borders of the continent. For example, the Commission still does not see climate protection in the necessary global framework; this causes one-sided burdens for industry in Europe. Tillmann emphasises: “The Energy Union rightly moves the energy policy away from the purely national stage and gives it a European orientation. However, climate policy should be implemented not only inside Europe but globally. This additional perspective is lacking.” If this wider manner of thinking prevails, the German chemical industry can give its full support to the Energy Union.

Tillmann proposes to discuss a solution for global climate protection at the G20 level where the largest emitters and the most important industrial and emerging economies are represented. According to Tillmann, establishing uniform climate protection rules in this group is more promising than efforts to achieve consent among 197 countries in a UN process. Alongside better climate protection, a G20 solution would also create equal competitive conditions for the major industrial nations.

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2014 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 193 billion euros and employed 444,500 staff.

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Sebastian Kreth