PRESS RELEASE 2 July 2014
“Climate change is a fact that we must address. It can’t wait that the European
economic situation returns to a path of growth. However, the decision whether
to reduce emissions in a cost-effective and feasible manner or in a costly and
complicated manner is in the hands of our politicians. This autumn the EU’s
newly elected decision-makers should reach a consensus on the future direction
of the energy and climate policy,” Fortum’s President and CEO Tapio Kuula said
today, 2 July 2014, at Fortum’s energy seminar during Almedalen Week, which is
considered to be the most important annual forum in Swedish politics.
“Reducing emissions must be included as a goal for the 2030 climate and energy
policy. EU-wide, market-driven emissions trading is the best steering mechanism
for low-emissions investments, for encouraging energy efficiency improvements
and for increasing renewable energy production,” noted Kuula.
“At the same time it is important that EU countries agree on common means for
offsetting emissions trading costs for energy-intensive industry to prevent
carbon leakage. In the current economic situation Europe needs all its
industrial companies and the jobs they offer, and we can’t afford to push
companies to go outside the EU. However, the means to correct the international
competitiveness of the energy-intensive sector must not undermine the
functioning of the emissions trading scheme itself,” Tapio Kuula said.
With the situation in Ukraine, ensuring the availability and security of supply
of energy has been brought to the forefront of the energy policy debate.
According to Kuula, the 2030 energy and climate package outlined by the
European Commission in January supports improving the availability of energy,
because a low-carbon energy system requires less imported, fossil fuel-based
energy. “A common, competitive and strongly networked internal energy market
would decisively improve the EU’s internal energy security and, ultimately,
would benefit also customers,” Kuula said.
“Energy policy is a significant part of national economics and of international
and national competitiveness, so they will become strongly debated also in
Sweden’s parliamentary elections in autumn 2014 and in Finland’s parliamentary
elections next spring,” he notes.
Kuula sees the rapid and continuous growth in the share of renewable energy as
a positive and necessary component to a low-carbon future. He emphasised,
however, that renewable energy must be developed on market basis. “The jungle
of subsidies for renewable energy must be gradually streamlined and production
must be better integrated with the functioning of the energy market. Even
though electricity wholesale prices have decreased, electricity bills for
consumers have quickly increased. Electricity users are paying for the
renewable energy subsidies, which are burdening consumers and industry also
through taxation. The subsidy system is very expensive and distorts the
functioning of the energy markets.”
Esa Hyvärinen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, tel. +358 40 826 2646
Media contact at Almedalen:
Helena Aatinen, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, tel. +358 40
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