Greenhouse gases should be cut 80% by 2050, Climate Committee

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Source: European Parliament

Eighteen months after it began work, Parliament's Temporary Committee on Climate Change called for an 80% cut in greenhouse gases by 2050, binding interim targets to improve energy efficiency 20% by 2020 and incentives to encourage everyone to do their bit. Meeting Tuesday to adopt the final report, the 60-member committee said, 'climate change is both more rapid and more serious in terms of its adverse effects than was previously thought'.

It wants climate change issues to be incorporated in all spheres and policies in order to keep the rise in the average global temperature below 2°C and hopefully avoid irreparable damage to the planet.

Main recommendations

  • 25-40% cut in greenhouse gases by 2020 and at least 80% by 2050, compared with 1990 levels
  • a binding target of a 20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020 and specific interim targets
    a European Climate Fund
  • incentives for everyone to cut emissions in an affordable way for example by developing information on the carbon content of products and services.
     
    What's next?
     
    German Christian Democrat Karl-Heinz Florenz, who drafted the report, said climate change has to stay at the top of everyone's agenda: 'Even in economically hard times, fighting climate change, pursuing a sustainable economy and the reduction of global warming to a maximum of two degrees must remain priorities for European politics.'
     
    He said that new European infrastructure should be built on greener technologies and practices. 'If Europe is able to take the lead in combating climate change, this first-mover-advantage could prove a real motor for economic development, and thousands of jobs could be created.'
     
    The vote on the final report is scheduled for the February plenary session. The committee plans to publish a public-friendly version within three months of its adoption in plenary.
     
    Other environmental issues

MEPs will discuss proposed legislation on cutting greenhouse gases, increasing the share of renewable energies and increasing the share of biofuels in energy consumption on Thursday during the plenary. 
 
Also this week, the UN Climate Change Conference starts in Poznań, Poland, to discuss international action on climate change. A delegation of 36 MEPs will attend the meeting from 9-12 December.

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