Page 7 - European Energy Innovation - Winter 2016 publication
P. 7

Winter 2016 European Energy Innovation  7

                                                            ENERGY SAVINGS

So, while the enjoyment of particular
goods can always be made more
efficient, the societal drive towards
higher consumption levels jeopardizes
any particular achievement. A global
paradox emerges: while production
improves, waste becomes ever-more

Understanding this later,
civilizational obstacle places market
environmentalists in a difficult
position. It is hard to imagine a world
that rewards frugality without being
austeritarian -unless, of course, one
that does not threat consumption
as a competitive reward, but as a
socially-defined good. Environmental
challenges represent, in this way, a
powerful justification for a radically
different life: one, ultimately, that is only
possible with a fundamental re-shifting
of social relations.

There is, by now, a fundamental
consensus that improving energy
efficiency can be a boon for quality jobs
when those are dear and a potential
niche for European production at
a time of ever-increasing global
competition. Only vested interests and
an increasingly irrational fear of public
intervention hold back Member States
towards more decisive action: we
will continue our fight to ensure such
obstacles are removed.

But we are not blind to the
contradictions that a market response
to environmental problems is creating
-a contradiction unlikely to be
overcome within the current economic
system. l
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