On 27 June 2013, FleishmanHillard Brussels launched the results of its survey on “Energy and Competitiveness in Europe’s Real Economy”, gathering insights of high-ranking European business executives of energy-intensive industries into the impact of energy policy on Europe’s competitiveness at the global level and industry’s perspective on how best to achieve EU energy and climate goals today and in the longer term.
The White Paper (available here) analyses the results of this survey, drawing some interesting, and sometimes unexpected, conclusions about European industry’s energy and climate perspectives and policy expectations at the EU and Member State levels.
Amongst other findings, the survey shows that a majority of business executives believe that EU global warming policies will help Europe’s economy rather than harm its competitiveness. Whilst they agree with the increase in the use of renewable energies, they also clearly indicate their support for the continued use of conventional sources, especially natural gas. The majority of senior European industry leaders surveyed believe the EU is likely to face a critical energy shortage within the next five years. This fear of energy scarcity is driving industry leaders’ positions on Europe’s energy targets, and nowhere is this clearer than in their support for increased domestic energy development. In connection with this, respondents who see the impact of energy prices on their business as serious today or in the future expressed strong support for shale gas development in Europe.