BRUSSELS – A group of activists descended on a meeting of European Union energy ministers in Brussels on Monday as part of an action calling for individuals to be allowed to produce and share renewable energy.
A group of 35 Greenpeace activists, according to the organization, attached a large banner reading “Our sun. Our power. Our future” above the entrance to the convention center where the ministers were gathering.
The protesters want the ministers “to live up to their climate commitments and stop restricting the rights of people to produce and share their own renewable energy,” Greenpeace said in a statement.
“The activists also unfurled a giant sun covered with selfie messages from hundreds of Europeans calling on the EU to power a swift transition away from fossil fuels and nuclear energy to citizen-owned renewable energy,” according to the NGO.
EU ministers were meeting ahead of final negotiations with the European Parliament and Commission on the Renewable Energy Directive; a policy requiring EU countries to source 20 percent of their energy through renewable means by 2020.
Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden have publicly supported taking on the fight against climate change, but newly-installed governments in Italy and Spain could affect the upcoming negotiations, Greenpeace warned.
The new government in Spain was widely expected to move towards support for renewables, abandoning its conservative stance.
“Politicians like using bold words on climate change, but they refuse to fulfill their promises when they have the chance. Without a rapid increase in renewable energy driven by a solar rooftop revolution, Europe cannot be a climate leader,” said Greenpeace EU energy policy advisor Ansgar Kiene.