Azara Blog: Some EU ministers want the EU to reduce emissions by 30% by 2020

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Date published: 2007/02/19

The BBC says:

All EU nations must back proposals to cut harmful emissions by 30% by 2020 or risk jeopardising the global effort to curb climate change, warn ministers.

The call for unity among the 27-nation bloc was made by the UK Environment Secretary, David Miliband, and his Spanish and Slovenian counterparts.

Failure to act would threaten efforts to get nations such as the US and China to agree to cap emissions, they said.

EU environment ministers will discuss the proposals at a meeting on Tuesday.

In an article on the BBC News website, the ministers wrote: "We all know that the current Kyoto deal does not go far enough.

"If we are going to avoid the dangerous impacts of climate change... then the EU must stand up and lead the debate on committing to further action."

They called for all members to endorse the proposals outlined by the European Commission in its strategic energy review.

The review, published in January, called for an international commitment among developed nations to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from 1990 levels by 2020.

The current target for the UK is 20% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (relative to 1990 levels). And not many people believe the UK will even hit that target, on current form. So any British minister who is seriously suggesting that the UK should aim for an even higher 30% reduction should at least give some indication where and how he expects the approximately 1% reduction per year from today to happen. What will UK airplane emissions be in 2020 relative to today? What about road transport? What about rail transport? What about domestic energy consumption (electricity and gas)? What about industry? And for the latter, is the UK just going to reduce its nominal emissions by moving more of its consumption of industrial goods off-shore? (That would not be a real reduction in emissions, just a slick accounting reduction in emissions.) Any minister who cannot give a believable analysis of where the cuts are going to come from and how they will be achieved should not be taken seriously.

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