Climate and energy policy road-map released today

The European Commission will publish a climate and energy policy road-map later today. The report is expected to stick by current targets to reduce EU carbon emissions by 20% by 2020 despite calls for tougher cuts of between 25-30%.

Contradictory results published in the report itself state that increasing EU targets to 25% could not only be easily met but cost-effective. Furthermore, an increased target of 25% would better position the EU to meet its long term emissions reductions targets of between 80-95% by 2050.

Additional research conducted in 2010 by the climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard, found that industry emissions were already down by 12% in 2009 due to the economic recession, making 2020 reductions targets not only easier but cheaper to achieve than first expected. Further academic research even indicated that the current target of 20% would be achieved under a ‘business as usual’ scenario.

Despite this backing, the European Commission has been reluctant to increase emission reduction targets above 20%. Hesitance has in part, been blamed on scaremongering, and concerns that increasing emissions cuts will restrict the growth of the EU economy. Although counter arguments claim investing in clean energy and greener industry in attempt to reduce emissions will do the opposite, and increase economic growth.

Following the release of the road-map target today it is likely that the debate to increase emissions reductions targets to 30% will be revisited at future UN climate negotiations if a new global deal is made.