Doc. 11154
23 January 2007

The environment and renewable energies

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mr Scheer and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

Conventional energy sources, based on the conversion of fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas) or uranium, generate numerous environmental problems as well as other political and economic “externalities”, such as the increasing dependency on conventional energy sources and the vulnerability of importing countries and the increasing risks of rising fuel prices.

Fossil fuels contribute massively to the gradual warming of the planet through the greenhouse effect, resulting from the CO2 which their burning releases into the atmosphere, polluting it at the same time.

Nuclear energy might be regarded as the solution for covering ever-increasing energy needs but on the condition that a reliable solution be found in the very long term to manage radioactive waste and ensure that nuclear power station operation is 100% safe; this, unfortunately is not possible.

Conventional energy sources constitute two causes of environmental pollution: one permanent, due to emissions of greenhouse gases and fine particles generated by combustion into the atmosphere and the other accidental, due to the risk of major disasters: oil slicks, oil pipeline leaks or radioactive discharges.

The Assembly believes that the time has come for society to look seriously at renewable energies and their true potential, which use inexhaustible flows of naturally sources energy (sun, wind, water, plant growth etc) and have far less impact on the environment.

These energy forms cover only some 20% of world electricity consumption, with hydroelectric power representing over 90% of electricity generated by renewable energies. Energy from biomass accounts for about 5.5%, geothermal power 1.5%, wind power 0.05%.

There are profound and urgent reasons, therefore, for swiftly using these energy forms, in the years and decades to come: solar power, wind power, energy from biomass, biofuels and geothermal power – particularly in these times of energy crisis.

Consequently, the Assembly recommends that the Committee of Ministers call on the member States to take all the necessary steps for the swift usage of renewable energy contribution to preserving the environment on both a European and global scale, based on the most successful and promising policies.

Signed 1:

1        SOC: Socialist Group
      EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
      ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
      EDG: European Democratic Group
      UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
      NR: not registered in a group