Frederic Hauge named EU energy commissioner’s advisor, will help steer Europe to clean energy future

Publish date: June 10, 2011

In what comes as an encouraging sign of recognition of Bellona’s long-time climate work, Bellona’s president Frederic Hauge has been appointed special advisor to EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger and will, as part of a fifteen-strong high-level expert group, provide recommendations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union’s energy sector.

Both Hauge and a number of other Bellona experts have long been heavily involved in shaping the European Union’s climate policy.

The new task ahead is another important mission for Bellona: As a member of a select team of experts hand-picked by Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Hauge will advise European Union officials on how to achieve ambitious greenhouse gas emission reduction goals in the energy supply industry by mid-21th century.

“I am very honoured to be allowed to sit in such a strategically important group. This is a result of fifteen years of being present in Brussels, of working actively toward [cooperation] with the EU institutions, and an important recognition of Bellona’s role in Europe,” Hauge said of the appointment.

Bellona’s Paal Frisvold, who has been central in developing Bellona’s activities in Brussels for the past several years, believes Hauge’s work in the expert group will be a unique opportunity to help define the next steps in Europe’s climate strategy and facilitate efforts in mitigating climate change effects.

“Today, the EU is the only region in the world that has clear legally binding obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Frisvold said. “The EU Commission will determine the measures that Member States must implement to achieve their ambitious climate targets. This is quite extensive and long-term work, and it’s a great honour and privilege for Bellona to take part in it together with highly respected experts in the field.”

The work that this newly formed expert panel will be engaged in is seen as part of a process aimed at creating a s “Energy road map  2050” for arriving at a carbon-free energy  sector by 2050. The experts are to make recommendations on how particular legislation, policies and incentives could help promote this goal. The European Commission is is expected to publish the Road Map by the end of 2011.

According to Frisvold, the group’s work will undoubtedly make an impact helping push for a cleaner and more sustainable energy sector in Europe.

“This, put quite simply, is one of the most important missions Frederic Hauge has ever got,” Frisvold said.

Europe’s far-reaching climate plans

Oettinger’s advisory panel will be led by Prof. Dieter Helm from Oxford University and will comprise, besides Hauge, independent experts and scientists from various European universities and research organisations.

The Energy Road Map is a follow up to the White Paper published by the European Commission earlier  on March 8 on a Low Carbon Economy by 2050. It lays the foundation for a detailed EU discussion on what exactly must be done to create a competitive economy, with a secure supply of energy and without contributing to climate change.

Bellona weighing in on Europe’s climate policy

Hauge’s appointment to the expert panel is the latest in a series of significant positions that Bellona has secured in the European Union in the latest years.

Earlier, Bellona’s President was appointed member of the Advisory Council of  the European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP), a unique coalition of stakeholders established in 2005 to promote CO2 Capture and Storage (CCS) as a key technology for combating climate change. Two years later, Hauge was elected the Platform’s Vice Chairman, a position he still holds.

In 2009, Hauge was appointed member of the Steering Group of the European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP). When a joint working group was formed on the technology platforms for biofuels and CCS, Hauge was put at the helm of that effort, a task he shares with a representative  from Alstom, , and the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

Hauge is also a member of the Steering Committee of the European Industrial Initiative for CCS, an effort linked directly with the EU’s strategic energy plan to employ technologies hoped to reduce Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions significantly by 2050.

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