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Brussels, 4 March 2008

Commissioner Piebalgs outlines EU renewable energy policy at International Renewable Energy Conference

European Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs took part in the international conference on renewable energy in Washington DC today. The Commissioner co-chaired the Ministerial session on the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy, with over 90 Ministers from around the world participating. During his visit, the Commissioner will also undertake a Strategic Energy Review on EU-US cooperation with senior US officials.

"In the fight against climate change renewable energy sources are going to play a key role. Since climate change is a global problem, the question of renewable energy sources also has to be addressed globally. With its 20% binding target, the EU wants to lead the world renewables race and this conference is an excellent opportunity to encourage others to follow this path with Europe" declared Commissioner Piebalgs.

The Washington International Renewable Energy Conference, WIREC 2008[1], is the third global Ministerial-level conference on renewable energy, following similar events in Beijing in 2005 and Bonn in 2004. Leaders from around the world will address topics such as the benefits of large-scale renewable energy deployment on energy security; climate change; air quality and economic growth; multiple policy options and best practices in boosting renewable energy up-take.

The European Commission has recently put forth a far-reaching package of proposals that will deliver the European Council's commitments of March 2007 to fight climate change and promote renewable energy. The EU aims to demonstrate to its global partners that strong action to fight climate change and increasing the use of renewable energy is compatible with continued economic growth and prosperity.


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