Brussels, January 30, 2012 – Reducing Europe's emissions is more cost-effective than previously thought, according to research released by the European Commission today. 
Moving to 30% emission reductions by the year 2020 is feasible, beneficial, much cheaper than previously thought, and a crucial step towards the minimum 40% domestic reductions science demands to prevent dangerous climate change.
Esther Bollendorff, climate justice and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "The conclusions are clear: reducing emissions will bring huge financial, environmental and health benefits for Europe and its citizens. Moving to 30% emissions reductions can be achieved, cost-effectively, and the upcoming budget provides billions for Central and Eastern European countries and poorer regions to cover upfront investment costs."
The Commission proposes a range of options to achieve the reductions: removing excess polluting credits from Europe's Emission Trading Scheme, increasing the target for non-industrial emissions, and tapping into the EU budget.  Combined with energy savings and a binding 20% target for energy efficiency, Europe could afford to be even more ambitious, and reap the full financial, environmental and health benefits of greater emissions reductions. 
 Structural and Cohesion Funds could make approximately €38bn per year available for Central and Eastern European countries – which stand to benefit from greater infrastructure investments, building renovations, and reduced air pollution and mortality rates.
 Friends of the Earth Europe demands at least 40% domestic emission cuts in Europe by 2020, based on 1990 levels; Europe’s fair share of the global responsibility towards stopping dangerous climate change.