The European Union’s economic downturn actually helped its 28 member states reduce their carbon emissions; however, the EU is still lagging behind on its proposed climate goals. Following a global climate change agreement, the EU’s main goals were to cut carbon dioxide emissions and increase renewable energy use, like wind and solar power. These targets were set to help the EU reach its pledge to curb its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050.
There is more concern for the downturn rather than the EU’s environmental goals. The union’s 28 governments have also constantly butted heads on the proposed climate policy targets.
The European Commission presented the EU’s climate change targets. While some of the member states were hoping the commission would relent on some of the proposed regulations, the commission maintained that the EU must reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030; and that clean energy sources, such as wind and solar power, compose 27% of the EU’s entire energy use by 2030. Though there is disagreement on the subject of shale gas between the member states, the commission also outlined regulations for tapping into shale rock reserves.
The proposed regulations and guidelines require support from the 28 member states and the European Parliament before they are fully enacted, so we can be sure that it will take some time for the laws to go into effect.
The EU’s 20-20-20 targets are still being enforced. The EU governments pledged to curb CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020, use 20% more renewable energy sources by 2020, and increase energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
March 21, 2014
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