14th May 2021

EU upbeat on 2020 carbon targets

  • Carbon emissions will fall 21 percent by 2020 according to the EU's environment agency (Photo: DerGuy82)

The EU will meet its 2020 targets to reduce carbon emissions and increase use of renewable energy, according to a report by the bloc's environment agency.

The report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), published on Wednesday (9 October), states that carbon emissions across the EU's 28 countries will be 21 percent lower than 1990 levels by 2020.

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The bloc is also on track towards its target for renewable energy consumption – renewables contributed 13 percent of final energy consumption in 2011, which should increase to 20 percent by 2020.

The so-called "20-20-20" targets for reducing CO2 emissions, increasing renewables and energy efficiency, were agreed by EU leaders in 2007.

However, the picture is more mixed in individual countries. No country is on track towards meeting all three targets, while none is underperforming in all three areas.

The 15 EU countries who were part of the bloc pre-2004 are set to exceed their targets by 5.5 percent.

Hans Bruyninckx, executive director of the EEA, urged governments to "ensure that they are not making choices today that become obstacles to a low carbon future."

The commission is expected to propose the successor to the 2020 targets before the end of the year. It is expected to include a 40 percent cut in emissions by 2030.

Six countries - Austria, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Spain - are set to miss the emissions target, with the report warning that "latest projections indicate that even additional measures planned at national level will not be sufficient."

Meanwhile, just four member states - Bulgaria, Denmark, France and Germany - are making good progress in reducing energy consumption and primary energy intensity

"Current policies are not sufficiently developed or implemented across the relevant sectors," said the report, adding that "this is due to insufficient enforcement as well as impacts arising from the economic crisis."

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