The European Union just reached a landmark climate deal that is world’s toughest. The compromise agreement is the result of intense negotiations between member states that delayed the unveiling of the blueprint in Brussels by 40 minutes. The deal calls for a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels and a requirement that the EU produce 27 percent of its energy from renewable sources. The target for both initiatives is 2030.
Image © Luca Cutolo
The deal doesn’t go far enough for many environmental groups, while it goes too far for member states such as Poland that rely heavily on fossil fuels. The bill was also opposed by the United Kingdom for setting the targets too high.
“The 40 percent greenhouse-gas target is probably the maximum of what can be achievable if you want to unite all these forces,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said. “This is the common denominator that we’ve been looking for for years.”
Environmental and clean energy organizations wanted higher emissions and renewable targets and slammed the deal. According to The Guardian’s coverage from Brussels, The European Wind Energy Association cited a study from the European Commission that a 30 percent renewable target would have created more than 560,000 jobs. The unemployment rate in the Euro Zone stands at 12.1 percent according to Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Germany will play a big part in helping the EU meet its emissions targets, which could rise above 40 percent after world governments meets in Paris in 2015 to come up with a global framework to avoid dangerous levels of global warming. That’s because the Federal Republic and the EU’s biggest economy is leading on renewable energy and phasing out nuclear in favor of renewables.
“If all other big economies in the world do a relatively ambitious effort equal to what we are now proposing, the world will be in a better state when it comes to combating climate change,” said Hedegaard.
Via The Guardian
Lead image via Aris Jansons