EU lag­ging be­hind its cli­mate tar­gets

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH & SCIENCE -


De­spite progress, the Eu­ro­pean Union is still be­hind the curve in its pro­gram to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions, par­tic­u­larly in in­dus­try and trans­port, a study said yes­ter­day. In an as­sess­ment coin­cid­ing with the UN cli­mate talks in Morocco, the Paris-based In­sti­tute for Sus­tain­able Devel­op­ment and In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions (IDDRI) gave the EU high marks in some ar­eas. Car­bon emis­sions from elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion fell by 20.9 per­cent be­tween 2000 and 2014, and house­hold en­ergy con­sump­tion fell by 21.2 per­cent, rel­a­tive to liv­ing area, from 2000 to 2013.

“De­spite this progress, the EU is cur­rently ‘off-track’ to achieve its ob­jec­tives by 2030 and 2050,” IDDRI warned. The EU as a bloc has pledged to re­duce green­house-gas emis­sions by at least 40 per­cent by 2030, com­pared with 1990 lev­els. This is a step­ping stone to a planned re­duc­tion of 80-95 per­cent by 2050, again com­pared with the 1990 bench­mark.

The IDDRI re­port said head­way in curb­ing EU emis­sions could be at­trib­uted to “cycli­cal ef­fects”-the im­pact of the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis and the slow re­cov­ery from it-rather than a long-term car­bon strat­egy. “Europe has made sig­nif­i­cant progress, but new sec­toral poli­cies are needed to en­sure it can reach its long-term tar­gets, es­pe­cially in trans­port and in­dus­try,” IDDRI Di­rec­tor Teresa Rib­era said.

In ad­di­tion to set­ting am­bi­tious emis­sions tar­get for road trans­port for 2025, the EU should aim at en­sur­ing that fleet pro­cure­ment-one of the big­gest sec­tors of the car mar­ket-be 100-per­cent elec­tric by that date. The re­port called for a tougher goals in en­ergy sav­ings for 2030 and for mea­sures to en­sure that the EU’s car­bon mar­ket-the emis­sions trad­ing sys­tem — does not suf­fer a re­peat of the price col­lapse of re­cent years.

It pointed the fin­ger in par­tic­u­lar at coal, which plays a large part in en­ergy pro­duc­tion in Europe. “By 2030, un­abated (use of) coal needs to drop by more than 50 per­cent to make way for low-car­bon elec­tric­ity sources,” it said. The study was co­or­di­nated with seven other Eu­ro­pean re­search in­sti­tutes, which trawled over na­tional data, an­a­lyz­ing the ma­jor sec­tors for car­bon emis­sions. — AFP

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