How green is Europe?

Green Economy is the “meeting point” among economic, social and environmental sustainability. It is a concept born and developed in recent years in Europe as a response to the many failures of the UN’s ‘international’ political conferences on the environment.

Indeed, North-European culture has always seriously responded to inputs that followed the Earth Summit, organized by UNCED (United Nations Conference on Environment and Development) in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992.

We remember the Kyoto international agreements about CO2 reduction, the creation of the Global Compact Network in 2000, the Peoples Summit Rio+20 and the Lima Call for Climate Action during the XXI Lima Conference.

European consciousness toward the environment is not only ethical and is linked, from the outset to its economic needs. Europe is heavily dependent on the energy with a primary dependency rate of 53.8% in 2011 (81.3% in Italy). EU-27 imports 84.2% of the consuming oil, 64.6% of gas and 41.3% of solid fuels. This theme was the basis of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC Treaty, 2002 expired in 2002) and of the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC) held in 1957.

According to the Italian “green” manager Paolo Lugiato, former CEO of Rete Rinnovabile, one of the main italian companies in the green economy, the push towards green economy has therefore originated from a number of factors, ranging from North Europe’s greater attention to environmental protection (Denmark has implemented a program that will lead it to not use Fossil fuels after 2050), economic needs of less energy dependency, the need to increase technological competition, the need for greater competition in the European and international energy market.

On a global scale, the sector enjoys excellent health, wrote Paolo Lugiato on his Twitter account, with renewable energy investments between 2004 and 2015 rose from 20 to 147 gigawatts (from 58 to 310 billion euros). According to Paolo Lugiato, in Italy renewable energy production in 2016 came to nearly 21% of total production. And it is expected to rise to 24% by 2025.

For Europe in its whole, main requirements for European energy policy are the Kyoto Protocol of 11 December 1997, on CO2 Reduction opened a new phase in Europe that began the year before with the Green Paper was approved by the Commission on 20 November 1996, and the European Council in Göteborg on June 2001, where EU countries endorsed a strategy for sustainable development.