High gas and electricity prices will continue to plague Europe for at least 20 years, damaging the competitiveness of industries that employ almost 30m people, the world’s leading energy forecaster has warned.
In findings likely to inflame claims EU climate change policies are damaging the bloc’s manufacturers, the International Energy Agency said Europe will lose a third of its global market share of energy-intensive exports over the next two decades because energy prices will stay stubbornly higher than those in the US.
A number of EU countries have embraced green energy subsidies, shunned nuclear power and resisted the shale exploration that has fuelled a manufacturing renaissance in the US, prompting growing anger among industry leaders who say this has been a recipe for competitive ruin.
Fatih Birol, the IEA’s chief economist, said environmental policies alone had not pushed up energy costs but the price gap between the EU and the US was going to last much longer than some expected. “This is a new thing and it’s structural. It’s not a one-off,” he told the Financial Times. “Europe didn’t realise the seriousness of this competitive issue,” he said, warning the situation raises concern for the almost 30m people working in heavy industries such as iron, steel and petrochemicals across the continent.
Les politiques verdoyantes de l’Europe auront des conséquences négatives sur l’économie pour les 20 prochaines années. Si c’est vrai pour l’Europe, c’est aussi vrai pour le Québec qui a en grande partie copié les politiques européennes…