As part of the Strategic Partnerships for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement (SPIPA) programme in Mexico, Team Europe (consisting of the European Union, its Member States and the EU financial institutions) organised the Week of the Role of Energy Efficiency in a Post-COVID Economic Recovery, a series of four virtual events focusing on the improvement of energy efficiency in the context of post-pandemic economic recovery and climate action.
During the four days, experts from government, private sector and specialised institutes discussed experiences and best practices in the efficient use of energy in key sectors of the economy, such as industry, transport and construction. They also addressed relevant topics such as the contribution of local policies and actions to boosting federal interventions in this field, as well as the importance of considering gender aspects in the definition of public policies to facilitate women’s access to technical jobs in the energy sector.
On the European Union side, the speakers included representatives of the European Commission, the European Investment Bank, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania and Spain, while from the Mexican side the events counted with the presence of the Directorate-General for Climate Change Policies of the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), the National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change (INECC), public authorities from the States of Campeche, Mexico City, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatan, the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), representatives of financial institutions such as BANOBRAS and several civil associations. Experts from the International Energy Agency and the United States also participated.
There was general agreement that energy efficiency is an indispensable tool in the Post-COVID economic recovery as well as part of climate action at both local and federal level. European experts highlighted that the European Commission included energy efficiency in its recent package of legislative proposals called ‘Target 55 (Fit for 55)’, with which the EU aims to achieve a reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 % by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, an intermediate step in reaching climate neutrality in 2050.
In their interventions, several experts underlined that improving the use of energy has multiple benefits not only in economic terms and job creation, but also considering the environmental and health positive externalities. They also stressed the importance of continuing the dialogue between European and Mexican experts on these issues in order to identify specific areas of cooperation linked to other aspects of strategic cooperation between Mexico and the European Union.
At the inauguration of the event, the Ambassador of the European Union to Mexico, Gautier Mignot, said: “As forerunners in the implementation of ambitious energy efficiency policies and measures, the EU, its Member States and the European Investment Bank — the so-called Team Europe — are always ready to share our experiences through extended collaboration with international partners.” He also pointed out that Team Europe has identified the energy transition as one of the four priority areas of engagement with Mexico in the short and medium term.
The discussions concluded that energy efficiency is a matter of mutual interest for the EU and Mexico, in particular as regards experiences and lessons learned to surpass technological and economic barriers, as well as strengthening innovation and implementing digitalisation to advance appropriate energy efficiency solutions, taking into account country-specific and region-specific conditions.
The event was organised with the logistical support of Polea (Environmental policy and legislation A.C.) and financed by the SPIPA project, which is funded by the European Union Partnership Instrument and the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) in the context of the International Climate Initiative (IKI).