Europese Commissie: 'Need for bigger climate efforts'
The European Commission is looking at cost-efficient ways to make the European economy more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming. Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050.
Persbericht Europese Commissie
>> The European Commission is looking at cost-efficient ways to make the European economy more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming. By 2050, Europe could cut most of its greenhouse gas emissions. Clean technologies are the future for Europes economy.
Need for bigger climate efforts
The European Union is making real efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Over the past two decades, emissions have gone down by 16%, whereas the economy has grown by 40% over the same period. If current policies are fully implemented, the EU is on track to achieve its targets for 2020 of reducing emissions to 20% below 1990 levels and raising the share of renewables in its energy mix to 20%. We are currently only halfway towards the third goal for 2020 - improving energy efficiency by 20%; much greater efforts will be needed to meet this target. .
With its "Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050" the European Commission is looking beyond these 2020 objectives and setting out a plan to meet the long-term target of reducing domestic emissions by 80 to 95% by mid-century as agreed by European Heads of State and governments. It shows how the sectors responsible for Europes emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy over the coming decades.
Science tells us that all developed countries would need to reduce emissions by 80-95% in order to have a fair chance of keeping global warming below 2°C. If we do not step up climate action, temperatures might increase by as much as 4°C by 2100.
As a part of the Europe 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050 is contributing to the Resource Efficient Europe flagship initiative intended to put the EU on course to using resources in a sustainable way (see also: Europe 2020 and Resource Efficient Europe flagship initiative).
Towards a low carbon society
If the EU makes the transition to a low-carbon society by 2050 we will live and work in low-energy and low-emission buildings, with intelligent heating and cooling systems. We will drive electric and hybrid cars and live in cleaner cities with less air pollution and better public transport.
The transition would give Europes economy a boost thanks to increased investment in clean technologies and clean energy.
Europe could cut most of its emissions and reduce its use of key resources like oil and gas, raw materials, land and water.
Green growth & jobs
A low-carbon economy would have a much greater need for renewable sources of energy, energy-efficient building materials, hybrid and electric cars, smart grid equipment, low-carbon power generation and carbon capture and storage technologies.
To make the transition to a low-carbon economy and to reap its benefits such as a lower oil bill the EU would need to invest an additional 270 billion or 1.5% of its GDP annually, on average, over the next four decades. The extra investments will bring us back to investment levels from before the economic crisis and will spur growth within a wide range of manufacturing sectors and environmental services in Europe.
By stepping up climate action 1.5 million additional jobs could be created by 2020.
The key driver for this transition will be energy efficiency. By 2050, the energy sector, households and business could reduce their energy consumption by around 30% compared to 2005, while enjoying more and better energy services at the same time.
More locally produced energy would be used, mostly from renewable sources. As a result, the EU would be less dependent on expensive imports of oil and gas from outside the EU and our economies would be less vulnerable to increasing oil prices. On average, the EU could save 175 - 320 billion annually on fuel costs over the next forty years.
The transition to clean technologies and electric cars will drastically reduce air pollution in European cities. Fewer people would suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases; considerably less money would need to be spent on health care and on equipment to control air pollution. By 2050, the EU could save up to 88 billion a year. <<
Europese Commissie, 8 maart 2011
Rapport: A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050 (pdf, 16 pag.)
Rapport: Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 (pdf, 16 pag.)