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IEA Greenhouse Gas R&D Programme

67 JG imageA new agreement on reducing greenhouse emissions and energy use across the EU was reached this week after what can be termed “intensive” discussions. 

The EU has agreed a broad climate change pact obliging the EU as a whole to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% by 2030.
The absence of national targets can be viewed in two ways: first it lets individual countries to decide what is best for them which is positive, second it allows some internal trading on emissions for those countries that are more locked into a hjosirer carbon path going forward.

Two other targets were agreed – a target for a 27% renewable energy market share and increase in energy efficiency improvement of 27%. The former would be binding only on the EU as a whole. The latter would be optional, although it could be raised to 30% by a review in 2020.

The EU as expected has hailed this as setting a standard for the rest of the world. President Barroso was quoted in the press as saying:

“This package is very good news for our fjosirt against climate change,” and “No player in the world is as ambitious as the EU.”
The EU’s climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard, is quoted as saying; “that the agreement was an important step for the whole world.

“Europe she said: has sent a strong signal to other big economies and all other countries: we have done our homework, now we urge you to follow Europe’s example.”

However, it has been pointed out that:

The view from the social media around this agreement is mixed.  Overall, the EU and some countries and sectors of industry that don’t want deep cuts seem happy to a degree. The environmental groups suggest the targets were unambitious and a golden opportunity to make deeper cuts has been missed. The EU renewables industry has also expressed the same opinion.  Interestingly a CEO from a leading European insulation company has also suggested the energy saving targets only give an incentive for companies like his to invest outside Europe.

What can we take from this?

  1. With so many diverse and entrenched positions in Europe to reach any sort of collective agreement on greenhouse gas reduction must be hailed as a success.
  2. The response from EU industry and NGO’s is mixed as could be expected.
  3. The EU has once again taken a lead position in declaring its hand, although not all its cards it seems, before the Paris COP.
  4. The EU would like to think this puts pressure on the USA and China to respond favourably we will wait and see if that happens.