EU Must Triple Emission Reduction Efforts

EUROPES leading role in climate change is being slowed by a lack of action and policy implementation, so report the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) International and analysts Ecofys in a report released today.

A new tracking tool launched today reveals that only a third of the necessary action needed today to put EU countries on a path towards a low carbon economy by 2050 (reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95%), is currently being undertaken.

The report and accompanying website called the Climate Policy Tracker for the European Union, provide for the first time an up-to-date snapshot of greenhouse gas emission controls across the EU using a Member State-by-Member State and sector-by sector analysis.

“The Climate Policy Tracker is a powerful tool that measures the impact of policies and their effectiveness. It allows people to easily identify the policy sectors which need more attention and where action is most effective in reducing emissions”, says Niklas Höhne, Director of Energy & Climate Policy at Ecofys.

The Climate Policy Tracker reveals large differences in levels of ambition and best practices across EU countries when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions; however the report shows that overall the results are weak.

“The deep cuts needed for 2050 have to happen across the economy. Member States need to scan their full policy portfolios to address weaknesses. They also need to commit to improving their implementation of EU policies, since 40% of results hinge on European legislation”, says Jason Anderson, Head of Climate & Energy Policy at WWF European Policy Office.

The tracker results have an encouraging side as well: if Member States were to follow the example of the highest-scoring country in each policy area and sector, they would achieve two-thirds of the required effort – double the current average. This means that policy options are available, but not implemented across the board.

“There are success stories in each country and policy makers should learn from best practices across Europe. Overall, however, the ratings are low. Support for renewable energy is most widely implemented across Europe and shows the most progress, whilst energy efficiency, transport and industry are lagging behind,” continues Höhne.

The Climate Policy Tracker clearly shows how and why the EU is failing to meet its targets. “Every country and the EU as a whole, needs 2050 decarbonisation legislation otherwise we are rudderless. Now we can also clearly see that the mid-term 2020 climate target needs a boost and that calling for 20% reduction is not good enough – it will never allow us to reach a low-carbon economy by 2050,” concludes Anderson.

Picture by Open Democracy

Wednesday 24th November 2010

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