Energy Union could bring jobs to the North East

25 February 2015

North East Labour MEPs today called for Europe's Energy Union strategy to focus on creating quality jobs and prioritising investment in renewable and low carbon energy technologies. They also stated that strong action needs to be taken on integrating a social dimension into the Energy Union during this period of energy transition.

Today's statement to MEPs by Energy Union Vice President Maroš Šefčovič is set to outline the Commission's strategy for the EU's Energy Policies for the next 5 years and beyond. Labour MEPs called for this to be sustained by an infrastructure union, encompassing a massive investment programme to modernise and upgrade energy networks across Europe.

Jude Kirton Darling, said

"Quality job creation and investment in renewable energy technologies must be combined to tackle climate change. Funding new, low carbon technologies, such as Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), can create thousands of quality jobs and tackle climate change in the process. The North East is already a flagship area for CCS, Teesside Collective plans to establish Europe’s first industrial CCS zone in the region.

"The North East can become a renewable energy hub, becoming a real focus for the UK and the rest of Europe. The longest interconnector in Europe is already planned between East Sleekburn and Norway via a subsea cable that will transfer energy generated from renewable sources. This is a blue print for the UK and Europe on how renewables can be traded as part of the Energy Union. Investing in CCS and interconnectors are crucial steps in run up towards Paris COP 2015 and in the advances we are making to meet our European Union energy efficiency and renewable targets.

"The priority now is to integrate a social dimension to the Energy Union. There needs to be a fair and just transition to the use of more renewable energies, greater energy efficiency and decarbonisation of the economy. We need to ensure that the social dimension of Europe's energy policies becomes a deep-rooted component of the proposed Energy Union."

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