Baltic Sea Region is ready to promote cooperation and lead the way

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Heinrich Böll Foundation organised a Dinner Debate in Copenhagen in parallel with the COP 15: Baltic Development Forum was invited as speaker to present regional energy study.


13 December 2009, Baltic Development Forum’s Director Hans Brask was invited by the Heinrich Böll Stiftung (the Green Political Foundation) as speaker to a High-Level Dinner Debate on Regional Approaches to reduce CO2 emissions: The European Community for Renewable Energy & How the Baltic Sea Region Can Lead the Way to present regional energy study.

In the meeting participated many international energy and climate experts including the Czech Minister of the Environment, Jan Dusik, Members of European Parliament and Members of Bundestag, Green Party, Ute Koczy and Hermann E.Ott.

To use the available renewable energy source in the most efficient manner, the Heinrich Böll Foundation is proposing the concept of a “European Community for Renewable Energy” (see This would enable Europe to generate all of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2050 not least through a bigger and better interconnected energy infrastructure, underlined President of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, Ralf Fücks in his opening statement.

Foto: Tellmewhat. Photo used following Creative Commons Licence.

Former German EU Commissioner Michaele Schreyer (the German Green Party) elaborated on the concept and stressing that BDF’s regional study on Sustainable Energy Scenarios was an interesting analysis on how regional approaches could foster enhanced international cooperation in the field of renewable energies. The Baltic Sea Region had many different renewable energy sources which made the region a possible showcase for implementing the green vision.

In his presentation, Hans Brask underlined the dual approach of the BDF report: 1) to initiate a stakeholder process where energy scenarios were presented to many different regional actors and decision-makers in the field, and 2) to present feasible scenarios and strategies for implementing the EU’s 20-20-20 targets, based on both small-tech and big-tech approaches. In order to become successful, Hans Brask underlined the importance of gradually building up a consensus based on common priorities and scenarios for the future energy cooperation in the region. Both a top-down and bottom-up processes were needed, and the Baltic Sea Region had very useful experiences in such a policy process. To a large extend the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region was elaborated on this basis.

In addition, Kaare Sandholt, partner from the consultancy company Ea Energy Analyses that participated in the development of the report, underlined the importance of a stakeholder process that was based on open data sources and transparent analytical tools.

Deputy State Secretary of the Danish Energy Agency, Hans Jørgen Koch commented on the importance of energy efficiency in any climate policy and on the EU Strategy for the region. Speaking in his own capacity, he found that the ambitions for the region when it came to energy efficiency and interconnections were not impressive. There was room for more ambitious goals for the region.

During the debate, the participants stressed the local dimension and the role of cities regarding energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies. Mayors were the best ambassadors of renewable energy, and the vision about renewable energy community could only be realised, if the cities were fully involved and integrated in the process.
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