13th Dec 2019

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."

Green Deal targets pit Left against Right in parliament

The Green Deal is expected to increase the current EU goal on emissions cuts, from 40 to 50 percent by 2030. However, most MEPs believe that this will not be enough to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

Timmermans warns on cost of inaction on climate

The Green Deal commissioner, Frans Timmermans, said the costs of inaction in climate policy are "tremendously high". However, it is still unclear if member states will unanimously agree on the EU's 2050 climate-neutrality goal at next week's summit.

EU agency: 'Europe will not meet 2030 climate goals'

The European Environmental Agency's latest report predicts that Europe will not achieve its 2030 climate and energy targets "without urgent action during the next 10 years". As a result, the social systems of production and consumption must be transformed.

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