While the European Union officials – not ” leaders ” – keep on clinging to 20 % emissions reductions by 2020, the Union has already slashed its emissions by 23 percent. This is taking place ahead of the Paris Climate Conference later this year.
That’s right, emissions fell again in 2014 to reach record low levels, already beating the 2020 targets. This thus would make sense to set more ambitious goals for 2020 and 2030, but this is apparently not how European bureaucracy works.
As the European Environmental Agency noted in its press release :
Latest projections by Member States show that the EU is heading for a 24% reduction by 2020 with current measures in place, and a 25% reduction with additional measures already being planned in Member States.
Now I am puzzled… Only two percent in the next six years ? Why not directly go for 30 percent by 2020 as the EU thought it was possible a few years ago, before fossil fuels lobbies sent them astray ?
When I started to work on climate change, the European Union was considered as the leader on the matter as its policies were ahead of their time. Now, it seems that we have lost that.
Worse, France will most likely miss both its renewables and efficiency targets. This doesnt really surprise me given what I have seen through the years I was still living there.
So, as The Guardian reports, if the Union is succeeding at cutting its emissions is that because Ex-Eastern European countries have seen their emissions drop since the 1990s and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Granted, I shouldn’t minimize the progress many nations have done on renewable energy sources. I have been blogging about Spain, Portugal, The UK, Ireland and of course Germany or Denmark enough to not do so. But much more remains to be done to achieve carbon neutrality before 2050.
Image credits : Rock Cohen, Flickr