Two great news from Europe on climate change

Here are two good news. First : this seems too good to be true as such a fact would sure lead to a bigger role of climate change in politics all around the 27 nations of the .

According to an article from the Guardian : ” Europeans believe that dangers of climate change represent a more serious problem than the current financial turmoil, according to a new poll.

But wait, there is more. To the latest figures from the European Commission, the Union decreased its emissions by 15.5 percent since 1990. And we keep clinging to 20 percent cuts…

To Business Green :

The EU remains on track to exceed the international carbon emissions targets imposed through the Kyoto Protocol, despite a 2.4 per cent in emissions last year driven by the bloc’s gradual economic recovery.

According to figures released today as part of the European Commission’s annual report on its progress to meeting its Kyoto targets, EU greenhouse gas emissions for 2010 were 15.5 per cent below 1990 levels despite economic growth of 41 per cent over the same period.

Significantly, emissions across the EU fell for six consecutive years through to and including 2009, even when the bloc was enjoying economic growth.

EU climate change commissioner Connie Hedegaard hailed the report as evidence the EU has successfully decoupled emissions from economic growth through the wider use of low carbon technologies.

“The EU continued decoupling emissions from GDP during the recession,” she said in a statement. “Between 2008 and 2009, emissions fell by 7.1 per cent in the EU-27, much more than the around four per cent contraction in GDP.”

On the first news, there is a (small) catch. To The Guardian :

” The Eurobarometer poll (pdf) suggests that the majority of the public in the European Union consider global warming to be one of the world’s most serious problems, with one-fifth saying it is the single most serious problem.

Overall, respondents said climate change was the second most serious issue facing the world, after poverty. “

From these news, we can infer two things :

  1. People from the European Union are willing to fight climate change as they clearly understand it is one of the threats, or the main threat to their prolonged prosperity…
  2. The various systems put into application by the European Commission in the past decades are not only working, they are working better than previously thought.

Logical conclusion :we should increase our climate and clean energy goals and shoot for 30 percent cuts… As we have seen it, this is the best way to avert the triple crisis. What do you think ? Will our spineless leaders heed the call ?

In any case, I wish the example given by the EU will push other nations and group of nations all around the world to act more dramatically on climate.

But, as sure that we need Europe to act, we also need the United States, China and all major nations !

2 thoughts on “Two great news from Europe on climate change”

  1. Am I allowed a (pessimistic / realistic ?) comment?

    First, the results of the Eurobarometer are double-edged. The fact that European citizens are concerned about environnement does not automatically mean they make efforts in their daily life. I hope we act in a responsible way in our daily life, but how many of the citizens who expressed their concerns have several cars, or forget to sort waste products? So the EU, its member States and NGOs should keep on emphasizing the message about responsible individual (and corporate) behaviours.

    Secondly, (and it’s the same for each policy that is less integrated within the EU, such as legal or defence policies): the binding aspect of these policies is too soft, allowing member States multiple dispensations to the achievements of objectives.

    That is a fact, the current crisis is terrible for thousands of households, but I also think it is a great opportunity to build a stronger European Union. Let us hope our leaders will seize this oportunity…

  2. Thanks Olivier for your comment.

    I think you are absolutely right on both your points. This is why policy makers should enforce stricter means on the industry to make cleaner and more efficient cars, electricity and products.

    They also should advertise the multiple benefits of energy efficiency and sobriety to consumers (ie. people)

    We also agree that this crisis is the perfect moment to embrace a truly new paradigm for Europe, and the whole world…

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