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Climate change: Commissioner Hedegaard invites EU business heads to round table on maintaining low-carbon leadership

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Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, has invited the business leaders of some of Europe's major and most innovative companies to a round table meeting on Monday, May 17 to discuss how the European Union can best maintain its lead in the transition to a climate-friendly, low-carbon global economy. Over 20 top managers will take part in the event.

"It is of the utmost importance that the EU maintain its global lead as the world shifts towards a low-carbon economy," says Commissioner Hedegaard. "This is critical for Europe's future economic growth, our competitiveness, the creation of new jobs and our energy security. We have gained a head start with the 2008 climate and energy package but to maintain European leadership requires the help of business."
The aim of the round table, being held under the motto 'Leading by Example,' is to have a strategic discussion on the transition to a low-carbon economy. This will consider in particular the global competition, need for stimulation of innovativeness as well as any barriers that are holding back European businesses and the policy response that is needed to promote European leadership. The intention is to build on case studies from business itself to show that becoming more energy efficient and climate friendly stimulates growth when done intelligently.
The companies participating are listed in the Annex.
Immediately after the meeting with the Commissioner, there will be a press conference (with some of the business leaders) at 17.15 in the Berlaymont press room.

The economic crisis has had a profound impact on the pace of the transition towards the low-carbon economy worldwide. Governments in many countries gave a major stimulus to investments in green infrastructure and clean energy production and are stepping up climate-related research and development. The US and China have recently been considered the best investment locations for renewable energy.

List of participants
Mr. José Manuel Entrecanales, Chairman, Acciona
Mr. Hans-Ulrich Engel, Board Member, BASF
Mr. Peter Mather, President Europe, BP
Mr. Jürgen Thumann, President, BusinessEurope
Mr. Anders Eldrup, Chief Executive Officer, Dong Energy
Mr. Fluvio Conti, Chief Executive Officer, Enel
Mr. Jules Kortenhorst, Chief Executive Officer, European Climate Fundation
Mr. Ramón De Miguel, Adviser to the Chairman and Chairman of Iberdrola Engineering and Construction, Iberdrola
Mr. Eivind Kolding, Partner and Chief Executive Officer Line Division, Mærsk
Mr. Erik Rasmussen, Managing Director, Mandag Morgen
Mr. Niels Soelberg, Executive Vice President for EMEA, Microsoft
Mr. Esko Aho, Executive Vice President, Nokia
Mr. Gerardus J. Ruizendaal, Member of Group Management Committee and Chief Strategy Officer, Philips
Mr. Ulrich Jobs, Chief Operating Officer and Member of Executive Board, RWE
Mr. Graeme Sweeney, Executive Vice President, Shell
Mr. Ralf Christian, Chief Executive Officer Power Distribution, Siemens
Mr. Luigi Lazzareschi, Chief Executive Officer, Sofidel
Mr. Gabriele Galateri, Chairman, Telecom Italia
Mr. Tuomo Hatakka, Senior Executive Vice President, Vattenfall
Ms. Geneviève Ferone, Vice President, Veolia