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European Parliament: towards a low carbon economy

11/11/2011 - To support its discussions about pathways towards a competitive low carbon economy, the European Parliament (EP) recently organised a workshop in Brussels. Daniel Klingenfeld from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research contributed the scientific view. Other experts were from the International Energy Agency, Business Europe, and the European Commission. The members of the EP's Committee on the Environment announced they will use the results of the workshop to propose concrete measures that the Commission should introduce within three years if the 2050 target is to be realised.
European Parliament: towards a low carbon economy

The European Parliament in Brussels. Photo: Pernstein/Flickr

"To reach these targets at lower costs and with higher probability, we recommend a twofold strategy," says Klingenfeld. "The European emissions trading system should be expanded as soon as possible to all economic sectors" - up till now, for instance, CO2 emissions of the transport sector have been excluded." Also, technology policy for renewable energy in the various EU member states ought to be harmonised step by step." Global climate change mitigation is affordable, he argues. However, it is crucial to act in a fast and comprehensive way. "As long as others are still tiptoeing, Europe can benefit from taking significant steps forward," says Klingenfeld. Being a pioneer might in fact result in technological leadership.

The European Union has set targets for reducing its emissions by 20 percent, increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix to 20 percent, and improving energy efficiency. Regarding emissions, Europe is on track, officials say. The "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" is intended to show pathways towards further targets - namely an emissions reduction of 80-95 percent.

 

Weblink to the proceeding of the EU parliament

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