The Federation of EUropean fire officers (FEU) held their 53rd FEU Council meeting in Riga/Latvia on the 25th May 2023. The meeting discussed the safety issues of the “Energy Transition” and many positive and forward-looking proposals for the safe implementation of the ”Energy transition” goals were highlighted. Following the
seminar, the FEU has released this statement.
The FEU’s call for enhanced safety measures aligns with the need to protect citizens, first responders, and the success of the energy transition itself. By incorporating fire safety provisions, identifying regulatory gaps, and fostering collaboration, Europe can navigate the energy transition effectively and efficiently while safeguarding the well-being of its communities.
The FEU recognises its role in supporting the EU and its Member States commitment to the binding target of a net domestic reduction of at least 55% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990.
There has been a rapid and extensive shift towards the use of alternative and varied energy sources. This energy transition includes a move from a mix of fossil and renewable fuels to the use of innovative materials and technologies. Allied to these developments is the establishment of new large-scale infrastructure for renewable energy production, storage and its transportation.
Given the ambitious targets set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement to deal with the impacts of climate change, it is imperative that the safety implications of the energy transition solutions receive adequate attention. European fire brigades are emphasizing the importance of prioritizing safety during the energy transition.
Safety stands as a crucial requirement alongside reliability and affordability for the advancement of new energy projects, but it is not always given primary consideration, and existing legal frameworks often lack sufficient provisions. The evolving nature of new technologies necessitates regular revisions of rules and legislation. Neglecting to address these concerns properly could give rise to significant safety hazards for both citizens and first responders, ultimately jeopardizing the success of the energy transition.
The Federation of EUropean fire officers (FEU) urges European institutions to dedicate adequate attention to the safety aspects of the energy transition. To ensure a smooth transition, the FEU recommends incorporating the fire safety provisions proposed by the European Parliament into the final versions of revised directives, including those concerning the energy performance of buildings, roofed car parks, electric vehicles (EVs), charging stations, and Lithium-Ion batteries. Additionally, identifying gaps in existing laws and regulations related to energy transition is essential for formulating effective policies to address these gaps comprehensively.
FEU members are committed to achieving a safe energy transition. The FEU fosters a collaborative approach and through a multi-annual programme we will actively collect and disseminate knowledge and experience among our FEU members. This will support the coordination of energy transition goals and fire safety at European Union (EU) level. Maintaining continuous communication and collaboration is crucial to prevent fire safety concerns from being overlooked or marginalized and provides the necessary independent professional advice and oversight that Energy Transition solutions are safe and therefore truly sustainable.
Torbjörn Lindström, pelastuspäällikkö
p. 02 263 3111