The Hanseatic Conference 2011 focused on Energy and took place in Hamburg in May 2011. It was be organised together with the Hamburg Ministry of Urban Development and Environment. For details of the programm, please see the  Agenda and Invitation for the Hanseatic Conference 2011  (pdf. File, click here) 

EU-Commissioner for Energy Oettinger and Dr. Hogeforster

Summary of the conference

Energy efficiency and climate protection are the future market for SMEs in the Baltic region

Commissioner Oettinger at 6th Hanse Conference: training of professionals and consumer information essential

Energy efficiency and climate protection are not only an important environmental goal, but an extremely important market for medium-sized enterprises in the Baltic region. The development and manufacture of energy saving technologies and renewable energy sources, the planning, installation and maintenance, will secure and create many new jobs in the region.
To take advantage of these great opportunities, the Ministry of Urban Development and Environment, together with the Baltic Sea Academy and the Hanseatic Parliament organised the 6th Hanseatic Conference from 11 to 13 May 2011 in Hamburg on energy efficiency and climate protection in the Baltic Sea Region.

Commissioner Oettinger at Hanse-Conference
During the three days of the meeting, scientists, entrepreneurs and politicians from 11 countries around the Baltic Sea discussed and developed future projects. Introduced were new technologies, best practices and especially successful projects and cooperation’s.

EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger stressed out the importance of the renovation of old buildings: „More important than the construction of energy-efficient new buildings is the refurbishment of the existing buildings with better technologies.” There the savings potential is much greater. His generation left an enormous debt of the public households to the younger generation. "Therefore, the renovation older building with energy saving technologies is the best form of repayment," said Oettinger.

The development of new technologies is essential for resource and climate protection. However, the technology alone will hardly make the difference; it must be used and implemented in practice, in small companies, by craftsmen and consumers. To succeed, the knowledge of the professionals must keep pace with the technological development. "The technical development on renewable energy and energy efficiency is so fast that every five years a basic education is necessary, “Oettinger said. Therefore education is a fundamental key for success . The Energy Commissioner, invited representatives of the Hanseatic Parliament and the Baltic Sea Academy to Brussels to develop corresponding training programmes.

Harry Bjerking, Dr. Gabriele Kötschau und EU-Commissioner Oettinger in discussion

99 % of all companies in the Baltic Sea Region are SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) providing up to 70 % of all jobs. 2/3 of all companies from the green sector are SMEs, an important stakeholder in the Green Growth movement.
The economy of Hamburg realised fairly early the potential of this sector: The chamber of crafts Hamburg, project partner in the QUICK project, established already in 1985 an innovative centre for „Energy, Water and Environment (Zentrum für Energie, Wasser und Umwelt, ZEWU) to train SMEs in this area. Soon the companies realized, that energy savings and green technologies are not only nice to have, but also beneficial from a financial point of view. The slogan “Economy through Ecology” was coined and led Hamburg to Green Capital 2011. This slogan can now prove true for SMEs in the whole Baltic Sea Region.

Panel discussion with the Commissioner and Chairman of the Hanseatic Parliament Dr. Jürgen Hogeforster
The Mare Balticum is considered the most innovative region of Europe, is economically very strong, but its potential has not yet been fully exploited. The Intergroup of the European Parliament called this area a region with a future and international standing, a powerful, productive, efficient and profitable pillar of the EU. Particularly in the energy and environment sector, the Baltic Sea area with its southern metropolis of the green capital 2011 Hamburg has the best chance to take global leadership.

All results of the annual Hanseatic Conference and papers will be published in a book in autumn 2011. The book of last year’s Hanseatic Conference on Education has recently been published in May 2011. Based on the results of the presentations and discussions, the Hanseatic Parliament and the Baltic Sea Academy will introduce their conclusions to the EU-Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

Press Statement to Hanseatic Conference 11.-13.05.2011 in Hamburg
Minutes from the Hanseatic Conference 11.-13.05.2011 in Hamburg