When in Favignana for the Greening the Islands 2017, we met with Wioletta Dunin-Majewska who is a Policy Coordinator at the European Commission’s DG Energy, and a colleague of Brendin Devlin, well-known for us at ESIN.
She made a presentation entitled “clean Energy for EU Islands Initiative”, which we would like to briefly retell:
The Clean Energy Package is DG Energy’s biggest package ever. It comprises 8 legislative proposals under discussion in the Council and the Parliament.
The goal is for the EU to become a low carbon economy via transition of its energy system by:
– putting energy efficiency first
– achieving global leadership in renewable energies
– providing a fair deal for consumers
This package was presented by commissioner Marie Donnelly during the FOP22 meeting in Marrakech on 14th of November 2016. She said: ”islands are in the package”, and we could the Commission urged the Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank to consider that “islands and island regions provide platforms for pilot initiatives on clean energy transition and can serve as showcases at international level” (Work Programme Annex dated 30.11.2016).
This was followed by the Malta Declaration on May 17, where the Commission and 14 member States agreed to launch the “Clean Energy for Islands” initiative which will accelerate the clean energy transition on EU’s 2,700 islands, help islands reduce dependency and costs of energy imports by using RES, embrace modern and innovative energy systems, and improve air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
At the Chania Inaugural Forum in Crete September 22, 2107, there was an overwhelming endorsement on highest ecehelon. The Package has thus move through the European political machine in just 10 months, which is a speed record.
The package is becoming more and more tangible. Islands are seen as innovation leaders. They can demonstrate how decarbonisation creates resilient energy systems, create new jobs and foster economic development.
The goal is ambitious: to decarbonise 1,000 island by 2030.
There will be a secretariat for the initiative to help launching decarbonisation plans on islands, host a stakeholder’s exchange platform, as well as organise yearly forums. An islands facility will be set up to support comprehensive energy transitions in preparatory and implementation phase under Horizon 2020, which will be the source of funding, both for making plans and to finance actions. DG Energy talks of a 2-directional approach: some 10 front-runners, and bottom-up partnership with national and regional organisations of islands.
Wioletta said: – “Islands are closed systems in need of an integrated approach.”