Greenpeace on Wednesday urged the European Union to begin a fundamental shift toward a renewables-based energy scenario, saying a green revolution would result in the creation of 500,000 new jobs over the next eight years and savings of up to 3 trillion euros ($3.9 trillion) by 2050.
Greenpeace International senior energy expert Sven Teske said in the presentation here of the EU Energy (R)evolution report, carried out for Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council, that the change in the bloc's current energy model does not have to entail a drop in economic growth.
Spain would benefit greatly from such a shift thanks to its commitment in recent years to renewable energy and the boost to the country's battered construction sector that an effort to make buildings more energy efficient would entail, Greenpeace EU energy policy adviser Frederic Thoma told Efe.
"Spain is one of the European countries that is highly dependent on fuel imports. All that money that's paid is lost, but it could stay in the Spanish economy and be used to create jobs and spur the economy," he said.
With only half of the 3 trillion in projected savings, the European Union could make the investments needed to shift to clean energy.
One area in which energy efficiency needs to be increased is transportation, according to the report.
Greenpeace called for policies that promote travel by train as opposed to planes, the development of electric cars and the replacement of fossil fuels with biofuels in the case of large vehicles such as trucks or airplanes.
"The expert consensus is that a fundamental shift in the way we consume and generate energy must begin immediately and be well under way within the next 10 years in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change," Greenpeace said on its Web site. EFE