Graham Watson MEP
Liberal Democrat Member of the European Parliament for South West England and Gibraltar
A local champion with an international reputation
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Published on Thursday 19th April 2012
On Wednesday 18 April a group of MEPs representing the Climate Parliament network met with the European Commissioner for
Energy, Günther Oettinger.
The group, led by Sir Graham Watson MEP who is the Chairman of the Climate Parliament, was made up of Satu Hassi MEP (Greens,
Finland), Vittorio Prodi MEP (Socialists & Democrats, Italy), Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP (EPP, Portugal) and Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP (EPP, Finland). The Climate Parliament is a global network of MPs and MEPs from all mainstream political parties campaigning to increase government investment in renewable energy and electricity supergrids.
The MEPs, representing all four main political groups in the European Parliament, stressed to the Commissioner that funding for
electricity transmission infrastructure, research and development of renewable energy technologies and more ambitious renewable energy targets for 2030 all have to be made a priority.
The Commissioner shared much of the same thinking and expressed optimism that 2012 could be a year of real progress on all these issues. He agreed that electricity interconnections indeed had to be given priority but emphasised that it was not feasible to
exclude gas altogether. Biofuels were also a subject of discussion.
Commenting after the meeting, Sir Graham Watson MEP said:
"We had a productive meeting with Commissioner Oettinger and agreed that we should meet again in September. It was good to
compare notes and we identified a number of issues where we could work together."
"I hope that the Commissioner has now seen the support in the European Parliament for funding for the electricity highways that will allow us to transmit renewable energy across long distances from where it is abundant to where it is most needed."
Pictured, left to right: Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP, Maria da Graça Carvalho MEP, Sir Graham Watson MEP, Commissioner Günther Oettinger, Satu Hassi MEP, Vittorio Prodi MEP.