‘EU Roadmap 2050 – a practical guide to a properous low-carbon Europe’ will not cut EU greenhouse gas emissions fast enough according to Friends of the Earth

March 10th, 2011 by Friends of the Earth

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A low-carbon roadmap to 2050 published on Tuesday 8 March 2011 by the European Commission will not cut EU greenhouse gas emissions fast enough to prevent dangerous climate change and could lead to a three degree rise in global temperature, says Friends of the Earth.

The roadmap recommends that EU governments cut their national emissions by 25 per cent by 2020, but analysis by Friends of the Earth shows that this is almost certain to lead to a two degree rise in global temperatures. This is the ‘tipping point’ that scientists say should be avoided to prevent the worst impacts of climate change such as more frequent severe weather and the loss of species and habitats.

Friends of the Earth says deeper emissions cuts must be made earlier – 40 per cent by 2020 – if the EU is to deliver on its pledge to cut emissions to avoid dangerous climate change.

Friends of the Earth’s Head of Climate Change Mike Childs said “the EU may have a road map – but it’s lost its way when it comes to showing global leadership on climate change.

“If these plans go ahead European governments are effectively abandoning any realistic hope of keeping global temperatures rises below two degrees, locking us into catastrophic climate change.

“If the EU is serious about tackling climate change it must slash its emissions by 40 per cent by 2020, without buying carbon credits from abroad.”

An energy efficiency plan also released by the European Commission on 8 March 2011 shows that the EU will miss (by more than half) its target to reduce energy use by 20 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020. According to the EU, meeting the target will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 740 million tonnes (equivalent to 20 per cent cuts below 2005 levels), cut annual energy bills by up to €1000 per household, and create up to two million new green jobs. But current EU plans put off strong action on energy efficiency until 2013.

Mike Childs said  “Saving energy is the best way of reducing climate changing emissions – it is senseless that the EU is delaying stronger action on this until 2013 when it is already lagging woefully behind its own target.

“The EU needs to recognise that renewable energy and energy efficiency go hand in hand – by investing heavily in these areas we can create thousands of new jobs, protect ourselves against the rising price of oil, and tackle climate change.”

The EU has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050.

For the EU to achieve this, the EU is recommending that EU governments cut their domestic emissions by 25 per cent by 2020, by 40 per cent by 2030, 60 percent by 2040 and 80 per cent by 2050.

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