The Low Carbon Economy

In 2011, the European Commission produced a roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy by 2050.   This is part of the Resource Efficient Europe Initiative which in turn is part of the Europe 2020 Programme.   As well as innovations in resource efficiency, a low carbon economy would involve climate change adaptation and mitigation measures. The Commission’s road map stated that it was important to develop innovative solutions in energy, transport, industry, information and communication technologies and energy efficiency.

DG Clima leads on the implementation of the Low Carbon Economy Roadmap which has adopted the following targets:

  • By 2050, the EU should cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels 80% below 1990 levels.
  • The milestones to achieve this are 40% emissions cut by 2030 and 60% by 2040.
  • All sectors of the economy will need to contribute.

In November 2017, the European Commission published “Two years after Paris: Progress towards meeting the EU’s climate commitments.” (COM(2017) 646 final)   The Report affirms the EU’s and Member States’ commitment to the Paris Agreement and states that, according to Member State projections, the 20% reduction target in 2020 will be met.

The Report also looks at the Member States that will miss the target.  The Member States include Ireland, Belgium, Malta and Germany who will all miss the target by more than three per cent.    Austria and Luxembourg will miss the target by between one and three per cent and Finland will miss by less than one per cent. The Report does include recommendations on ways in which these Member States can improve the situation.  For instance, it thinks that Ireland should invest more in public transport and  Belgium can improve its transport infrastructure

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