Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Will EU be able to meet its climate targets?

EU's main climate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. After a 7% drop in greenhouse gas emissions in 2009 many thought that EU will achieve this goal with relative ease. But 2009 was anything but a representative year in terms of emission cuts because of global recession.

According to the latest data European greenhouse gas emissions rose by 2.4% in 2010 boosted by an economic recovery and the increased use of heating fuels due to a very cold winter.

The European Environment Agency (EEA) said that this increase in emissions in 2010 does not mean that EU is no longer at the right track to achieve its climate target. What this really means is that the existing measures are not enough and that some EU countries will have to put lot more efforts in order to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.

For instance, EU countries like Austria, Italy and Luxembourg will fail to achieve their Kyoto targets which will have negative effect on collective EU climate target.

One thing is sure, namely that EU will need different policies that would ensure further cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. These policies will have to put lot more emphasis to renewable energy, energy efficiency and pollution reduction.

Jacqueline McGlade, EEA executive director said that "we (EU) can reduce emissions further if we consider the climate impacts of various policies more systematically."

Some policies are more efficient than others, some give better short-term some better long-term results, some can be applied only in certain EU countries while others can be used everywhere. EU must be aware of all these details if it wants to successfully reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help tackle climate change on global level.

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