EU on track for climate targets

Oct 09, 2013
Activists and environmentalists protest for renewable energy in front of the hotel in Budapest on May 2, 2011

The European Union is on track to meet its 2020 targets for reducing carbon emissions and switching to cleaner energy sources, its environmental watchdog said on Wednesday.

By the end of 2012, the EU had reduced its output of heat-trapping greenhouse gases by nearly 18 percent compared to the benchmark year of 1990.

"It is already close to the target of 20-percent emissions reduction by 2020," the European Environment Agency (EEA) said in a report.

Recently-published data pointed to a drop in EU emissions of almost one percent in 2012 over 2011.

The EU is also on track to meet a goal of having renewable sources account for 20 percent of energy consumption in 2020.

As of 2011, renewables accounted for 13 percent, above the EU's mid-way target of 11.7 percent for 2011 and 2012.

However, the picture is less rosy for the EU's third objective for 2020, of securing a 20-percent gain in .

Only four members—Bulgaria, Denmark, France and Germany—"are making good progress," said the report.

"For most EU member states, however, the current policies are not sufficiently developed or implemented across the relevant sectors," the report said.

"This is due to insufficient enforcement as well as impacts arising from the economic crisis."

Fifteen EU members signed a pledge under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce by eight percent by a timeframe of 2008-2012 compared to 1900.

They have greatly exceeded this, achieving a cut of 12.2 percent, said the report.

"Overall, the combined performance of all EU-15 member states is equivalent to an over-achievement of approximately 236 million tonnes" of carbon per year, or 5.5 percent of their in 1990, the report said.

There are three laggards, though: Austria, Luxembourg and Spain, which will have to buy a large quantity of carbon credits in order to meet their Kyoto targets.

Explore further: Scientists discover coral's best defender against an army of sea stars

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

EU emitted 3.3% less greenhouse gas in 2011

May 29, 2013

Europe emitted 3.3 percent less Earth-warming greenhouse gases in 2011—the lowest level since 1990, a European Environment Agency (EEA) report said Wednesday.

EU on track for Kyoto and 2020 emissions targets

Oct 24, 2012

The European Union (EU) will go beyond its targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2012 under the UN's Kyoto Protocol and is on course for meeting its goal for 2020, it reported on Wednesday.

Climate: EU emissions down 2.5 percent in 2011

Sep 07, 2012

European greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.5 percent in 2011 over 2010, as a mild winter and increase in renewable energy use offset a rise in coal consumption and economic activity, estimates released on ...

EU carbon emissions 'plummeted in 2009'

May 31, 2011

Greenhouse-gas emissions by the 27 members of the European Union fell by 7.1 percent in 2009 over 2008, driven by economic recession but also a switch to renewable energy, the European Environment Agency (EAA) ...

EU says emissions down, but pollution scheme falters

May 16, 2013

EU greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for global warming, dropped slightly last year but the much-vaunted system for cutting such pollution ran into even more trouble, the European Commission said on Thursday.

Recommended for you

Rating the planet's oceans

14 hours ago

The most comprehensive assessment conducted by the Ocean Health Index rates the Earth's oceans at 67 out of 100 in overall health. In addition, for the first time, the report assessed the Antarctic and the ...

User comments : 0