3E Intelligence

Two days ago I took part in a debate on Europe’s progress towards a low-carbon economy. Some of the participants in the meeting defended the thesis that ONLY Europe can lead in the fight against climate change. I think this is complete nonsense.

Europe might lead in political rhetoric about climate targets but its achievements tell another story. You don’t make effective policy by formulating targets on the basis of nice alliterations (20-20-20 by 2020). What is much more important is to see what is happening on the ground. Have companies changed technologies as a result of the EU’s emissions trading scheme? Hardly. Most of them have made big windfall profits but where are the investments in clean technologies?

Where are the European venture capitalists who can match the US new investment boom in clean or green tech? Why is it that three American financial institutions (and not European ones) have recently formulated new guidelines to strengthen environmental and climate/energy risk management for the financial sector (the Carbon Principles). Where are the European big mega-projects to build new eco-cities such as Abu Dhabi’s Masdar or China’s Dongtan?

I believe awareness about climate change is indeed much higher in Europe than anywhere else but between awareness and effective action there is a huge gap. This has something to do, I guess, with Europe’s fear of risk-taking and change (also in business circles) and the close coalition between political and economic players which leads to “business as much as usual” policies.  Another weakness is Europe’s lack of entrepreneurship (where are the European “ecopreneurs”?) and of venture capitalists.

Leadership needs courage, self-confidence and risk, three qualities which are not much present in European policy-making circles.

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  1. Ecopreneurs who do take risks, invest time and sometimes dedicate their life in order to green our economy, are far from encouraged by EU and national bureaucracy. Slightly interested in the results/potential on the field, seldom inspired by a vision on how to accelerate and link grass root and economic greening forces. We do not expect the highest eco-dynamism to come from gouvernments, but seeing them pull the handbrake while others are struggeling to make it happen is not exactly motivating.
    EU funding is so complex that people need to file a yellow page dossier in order to prove that, in the process of reaching/exceeding their goals, they did not forget to use a tissue while sneezing.
    It is time for public bodies to share the steering wheel an dare to determine only a clear goal (“by a catalyst call” instead of a “do it this way call”), a well defined and ambitious result. NOT a road map how to reach it, that will only limit the creativity and thus the efficiëncy so needed to reach those goals fast and on a diversified way (as this is the self declared USP of the EU)

  2. The USA has the potential to become a power behind a new Renewable Economy but so far has shown little leadership.

    The USA is the World’s largest debtor, and continues to add 3.5 Trillion dollars of debt yearly throughout it’s economy(Trade, Government, State, Consumer and Corporate debts)so it will be the Creditor Nations of Europe and Asia which Dictate Economic and Environmental Policy over the coming Years.

    Europe for example has much more Economic Muscle then the USA. The European Union has 38 Million Manufacturing Jobs versus 13 million in the USA.
    The Eurozone is the World’s largest Exporter and Creditor.

    The European Union uses 50% less Energy per GDP Unit compared to the USA so they are already much. much more Efficient Compared to the USA.

    Europe Dwarfs America in the Renewable Energy Sector-Wind Energy, Photovoltaics, Geothermal, Wave/Ocean energy, Fusion Research(Iter),etc.

    These are the facts that much of the world already knows but the Anglo-Presses do not want the Truth to be known amongst it’s own Citizens.

    The Genuine Progress Indicators also point to a European Leadership in real Progress along with Canada and Japan.

    The USA has stagnated since the late 1970’s

    When it comes to the Job Market the E.U. has produced more jobs then the USA over the past 10 years.

    The USA job production has not kept up with population Growth over the past 7 years or so while the European Union has been producing 3 million jobs annually.

    Why are these facts seldom mentioned?

    The USA has not signed the Kyoto treaty and is the second largest polluter behind China.

    Why?

    It’s because of vast Corruption in the economy and inefficient usage of resources and energy Supplues which are most Imported from other countries.

  3. It’s very hard to see whether the US or Europe are doing a better job on sustainable energy. Ths following list on transatlantic ping pong could go on for quite a while:

    EU: You didn’t ratify Kyoto!
    US: But your carbon emissions rose more steeply in the past six years!
    EU: But you are still the biggest carbon emitter per capita in the world!
    US: But we have a larger number of world records on renewable energy power plants!
    EU: But the first priority is energy efficiency, and we are taking energy efficiency much more seriously!
    US: Oh, you think so? Better take another look at equipment efficiency standards (or Energy Star programme)

  4. The EU is the World Leader in Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency. The EU has a much larger Wind Power, Photovoltaic, Geothermal, Wave/Ocean Energy Sectors Compared to the USA. Germany Alone is number 1 in Wind, Solar and Employs about 300,000 in it’s Renewable Sector not including other Environmental Fields which Total 1 million Employees.
    The EU uses 50% less energy per unit of GDP vesus the USA. The USA is very wasteful in using energy and it’s Federal Government does not support Renewables at this time even though certain states do.
    It’s also a debt junkie adding $6.25 dollars of debt for every $1.00 dollar of GDP Growth meaning we have no real Growth only Debts!!! That is 330% more Debt per Unit of GDP Growth versus 1980 so what’s going on? Nothing Good!!
    China and America are the two worst polluting countries in the World and need to clean their acts up!
    I’m flying to Europe and attending the all-energy renewable show in Aberdeen, Scotland. Later this Summer my training Starts in Canada at lethbridge college which have a BZEE course training Wind Technicians.
    The USA does not have a BZEE certified wind energy school and this is the International Standard for Wind Energy Training.
    Germany is the World Leader in Renewables and is pushing the rest of Europe to convert it’s economy.
    Little Germany has more Patents per Population then the USA or Japan. It is the World’s largest Exporter so why would it be a surprise they are leading in the Renewable Energy Industry? They have a Huge Trade Surplus and along with Japan are one of the two largest Creditor Nations on Earth.
    Where was the Kyoto Treaty Signed? Japan
    Where is the ITER Fusion Reactor located? Europe
    Europe has more Basic Research overall then the USA. Almost 60% of the US Research budget goes to the Military!
    Since the Euro is worth more then the US Dollar by 57% it also spends more on overall Research now which is Seldom Reported. The Eurozone Exports twice what the US exports making it a very rich and powerful Union.
    The EU created 3.5 million jobs in 2007 and has been Creating more jobs then the USA since 2000, Why?
    When will the US Citizens wake up to the fact we are falling behind. With an 800 billion plus Current Account Deficit and a non-existent job market at the moment(-250,000 jobs first quarter) it seems to me a new direction is needed-NOW!!

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