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Policy & Politics

Published on January 18th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Poland & Italy Working To Halve EU’s 2030 Emissions Targets

January 18th, 2017 by  

The European Union’s constituent national governments have previously agreed, in principle anyways, to slash transport, buildings, and agriculture emissions by 30% by 2030 as part of the Effort-Sharing Regulation caps.

This is considered a cut from the current -10% goal for 2020.

The 30% reduction by 2030 goal would vary by nation, it should be noted — with different regions held to different goals that would balance to a 30% cut in stated emissions.

Recently, though, the governments of Poland and Italy have been proposing a number of loopholes for this goal that would effectively neuter the plans. Amongst which: plans to grant constituent European Union governments the ability to distribute “millions of free emission permits so governments can meet the targets on paper, rather than in the real world. Calculations by Transport & Environment show that the Italo-Polish proposals would see the ambition level drop from -30% to below -20%.”

So, in other words, the 2030 emissions cutting plans would be as vacuous of real change as most other actions taken by the European Union in recent times have been.

T&E transport and energy analyst Carlos Calvo Ambel commented:

“The proposals by some governments would effectively halve the ambition level of the 2030 targets. These governments are blaming the way effort will be shared, but that can be addressed without lowering the ambition.

“Reducing emissions in transport and houses means importing less oil and gas and investing in the 21st century technology. Protecting the 2030 climate targets is not just good for the planet, but also good for people’s pockets, the economy and Europe’s security. It would be foolish to throw all this away to offer some governments a slightly better deal.”

It should probably also be noted here that the 2030 targets, even if implemented without loopholes, wouldn’t be enough to limit anthropogenic climate warming to under 2° Celsius by 2100 (the supposedly “safe” limit), according to Germany’s Öko-Institut. If the <2° Celsius by 2100 goal is to be achieved, then, the European Union would have to slash “effort-sharing emissions, including transport’s, by 94% by 2050,” according to that organization.

Carlos Calvo Ambel continued:

“We commissioned the Öko-Institut study in order to know what road transport needs to do by 2050 to keep global warming below 2°C. The results are clear: we need to do more and we need to do it faster.

“With the Trump presidency about to start, it’s vital that Europe shows it is taking the Paris accord seriously. Severely undermining the starting point or handing out fake forestry credits won’t make the 2030 targets more fair, it’ll just destroy them.”

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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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