Europe can be more ambitious – for less

30 January 2012

Full benefits of greater emissions reductions more cost-effective than though

Brussels, January 30, 2012 – Reducing Europe's emissions is more cost-effective than previously thought, according to research released by the European Commission today. [1]

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. [2] 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. [3]

NOTES

[1] http://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/package/docs/staff_working_doc_2012_en.pdf

[2] 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.

[3] 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.