Page 29 - European Energy Innovation - Spring 2016 publication
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Spring 2016 European Energy Innovation                                                           29

                                                        ENERGY SECURITY

At the same time, the increasing            we will need to provide re-training        policymakers. While an improved
electrification of vehicles, whether        and re-skilling to those who have          energy trade balance; lower oil prices
hybrids or fully electric, will make a      lost their jobs in the refining and        and reduced mobility costs deliver an
significant contribution to urban air       distribution of fossil fuels, or in        economic boost for Europe, the lower
quality by curbing health-damaging          manufacturing outdated vehicle             oil prices will also make gas-guzzling
NOx and particulates. According to          technologies. And oil-exporting            vehicles more appealing.
a recent OECD report, outdoor air           economies will need to manage this
pollution costs OECD countries about        transition carefully to avoid social       The challenge for policymakers,
$1.7 trillion a year in terms of the value  upheaval. But what is becoming clear       therefore, is to harness the economic
of lives lost and ill health, with around   is that this transition is overwhelmingly  benefits generated by this transition
half of that pollution coming from road     beneficial for oil-importing regions       and ensure they are redistributed in
transport1.                                 such as Europe.                            such a way as to ensure that we do
                                                                                       not slip back to the world of fossil
The transition away from oil is not         Of course, the transition described        fuel vehicles, and ultimately back to a
without its challenges. Within Europe,      above also creates a dilemma for           world of high oil prices. l

1 WHO Regional Office for Europe, OECD (2015). Economic cost of the health impact of air pollution in Europe: Clean air, health and wealth.
Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office for Europe
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