EU PLANS TO REDUCE CARBON EMISSIONS BY 40% BY 2030
The European Commission has proposed a plan to reduce carbon emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030. The plan, which will be reviewed by the European Council in March, would also require the EU to generate 27% of its energy from renewables by 2030. While European commissioner for climate action Connie Hedegaard has deemed the new target a significant advance, green groups fear that the proposed 40% emissions cut is “dangerously low.” According to Brook Riley from Friends of the Earth, the target would make it difficult to avoid dangerous climate change, or a two degree Celsius increase in global warming. Wind and solar power producers were also displeased with the plan, as the Commission’s proposed renewable energy goal would be binding at the EU level, but would not set mandatory targets for member states. As a Renewable Energy Association policy analyst pointed out, “It is difficult to see how the Commission can enforce this EU-wide binding target if the targets set by individual member states in their national energy plans are not also binding.” Without a mandatory renewable energy target, some producers of renewables say they’re at risk of losing investments. For the full story, see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25841134 and http://www.smh.com.au/business/carbon-economy/eu-move-to-drop-mandatory-renewable-energy-target-for-2030-irks-wind-solar-industries-20140124-31ccg.html.