Sustainable Built Environment Conference
Excellencies, Distinguished Panelists, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am delighted to join tonight the Sustainable Built Environment Conference. Indeed, this Forum is an opportunity to share best practices, discuss cooperation between our institutions and support the creation of an energy efficiency community. Moreover it also gives us the opportunity to officially close the MED ENEC, an EU funded regional Project that has closely cooperated with all of you.
In the field of energy efficiency, the different countries including Egypt have in common:
I would like to pay particular attention to the buildings sector which is currently part of the problem. It accounts, for instance, for 40% of the energy consumption in the EU. But it can and should also become part of the solution. With the right policies in place it can help:
In recent events we have heard some experts calling energy efficiency 'the Sleeping Beauty of the past'. Some others confirmed that Energy Efficiency was lately politically upgraded worldwide from 'Cinderella of all energy areas' to the 'first fuel'".
These eloquent analogies are showing us the trend: the huge potential which is currently awakening, which is finally being discovered. But energy efficiency is definitely no fairy tale! As example, Europe has set up the 'energy efficiency first' principle, already back in the Energy Union Strategy: First reducing demand, and only then can additional supplies and more grids be requested.
What does it mean in practice?
Well, it means updating legislation: I mean energy labelling legislation, and Energy Performance of Building rules among others.
Europe is progressing towards its 2020 energy efficiency goals, largely because it has put in place the world's leading regulatory framework. The upcoming review of the Energy Efficiency Directive will ensure Europe is still on track on its 2030 energy efficiency targets focusing on:
Let me assure you that the private sector is keen to invest. Investment funds are interested in climate-friendly long-term investment. What they need is a stable regulatory framework, sound Energy Efficiency Governance without which energy efficiency policies can fail, a confirmed business case, and means to decrease their perceived risk of investing in energy efficiency across the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Technologies are here, expertise is here, and the need is definitely here. Let's build on those encouraging national and regional projects such as MED ENEC; let's see what has worked in for instance in Tunisia, Lebanon or Morocco and can serve as a model to other parts of the region.
I assure you that from the he Commission side, we will continue to give energy efficiency - primary consideration in all Energy projects
The closing of the MED ENC project is not an end but should certainly be considered as a potential start for another undertaking that could help us in advancing towards a better managed demand, and a more energy efficient and sustainable environment.
Thank you very much and wish all of you successful meetings over the coming days.
Diego Escalona Patuerl
Head of Coopertion
European Union Delegation to Egypt