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Press Release
  24 May 2012

Gas is the no-regrets energy choice for Europe


The GIE President underlined in his speech today in Krakow the role of natural gas and its underlying infrastructure for the future energy mix. Gas is a no-regrets energy choice that can help the EU achieve a secure, competitive and decarbonised European energy system.


Today more than 340 participants from all over Europe met at the tenth GIE Annual Conference. GIE President Jean-Claude Depail, who was re-elected unanimously for another term of two years by the GIE General Assembly which took place shortly before the event, opened the conference by pointing out that the number of participants is a historical record for GIE. "This is a clear signal that things are being done well by GIE and its members", the President said. The Annual Conference, which started out as a gathering of GIE Members, has become a high-level forum for representatives from industry, policy makers and regulators, academics, journalists and other important opinion formers.


Jean-Claude Depail's speech took place in the presence of the European Commissioner for Energy, Günther H. Oettinger, at the beginning of a two-day conference. The goal is to discuss how gas can help achieve ambitious targets and be an important and innovative part of the future energy mix and to identify ways for the EU to meet its competing and sometimes conflicting energy goals. EU energy policy addresses climate change, while also limiting costs for industry and consumers and maintaining secure energy supplies. In the weeks leading up to the GIE Annual Conference, many industry leaders have pointed out that the political recognition of gas needs to be stronger and more favorable, and that if policy does not go the right way, investments in infrastructure may not be realised.


The GIE President recognised that policy makers and industry are working well together in achieving a truly internal market for gas and that the medium-term role for gas is broadly recognised, but said, "Its role for the long-term remains unclear. The lack of long-term visibility for the gas industry is something that we must not accept."


In this context GIE has recently joined six other European and global gas associations in order to highlight the many benefits of gas in addressing the EU´s energy goals in the context of the European Commission's Energy Roadmap 2050. The natural gas industry is responding with one voice to the Commission's call for an inclusive debate on competitive solutions to ensure security of energy supplies while achieving the targeted CO2 emissions reduction.


Jean-Claude Depail concluded in ensuring that GIE and its members will continue working to demonstrate that gas provides options for the future energy mix. "The rules and regulations are the software for Europe, but the pipelines are the hardware which needs to be in place."


Note to Editors


GIE is the association representing gas transmission companies, storage system operators and LNG terminal operators in Europe. GIE has currently 70 members in 25 European countries.


Each year GIE organizes a conference in another European country hosted by one or more of its member companies. The 10th Annual Conference takes place in Krakow, Poland and is hosted by Gaz-System.


Jean-Claude Depail was re-elected on 24 May 2012 to continue in this role for two more years. Jean-Claude Depail holds an engineering degree from ENSEM (Nancy), as well as master's degrees in physics and economics.


Jean-Claude Depail joined Gaz de France in 1973. He started out in the Economic Research Department of the Economic and Commercial Division. Since July 2007, he had been Chief Operating Officer of the Global Gas & LNG Business Line. On March 4, 2010, he was appointed Executive Committee member in charge of the Infrastructures business line.


To find out more about GIE's structure and activities, please visit our website at www.gie.eu.


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