EU can do better

“What we are presenting today is both ambitious and something that we can afford” President Barroso stated while presenting the European Commission’s proposal on climate change for the EU by 2030.

Its main target is to reduce EU Carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Also two previous cases regarding renewable energy and energy efficiency are not legislated at present. When comparing that to Stockholm’s current 50% slash since 2007 it is absurd to call a 40% reduce in emissions over the next 16 years as “ambitious”

The criticisms from environmental organizations have come in thick and fast.  Both Stefan Löfven (S), and Asa Romson (MP) have demanded in an article that all three goals should be mandatory not a “goal”.

There is every reason to be crital of the EU Commission’s lack of ambition. In the struggle to save the climate, it is not clear that the three goals are better than one.

We must look to be critical and push for more, as the more we do now the better infrastructure we will have to tackle climate change in the future.

How can we over achieve?
Renewable energy and energy efficiency is really the only means to achieve the main goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. With a functioning emissions offset trading system combined with a carbon tax. We will increase the amount of renewable energy and therefore energy efficiency will take off simply because it will be more profitable to do so. On the contrary, the more goals there are to fulfill. It will make it more expensive and more difficult than necessary to achieve the goal of reducing emissions,

The real scandal of the EU Commission’s proposal is rather than accepting the goal of limiting global temperature increase to two degrees is unattainable and creating a new achievable programme based on three point five global temperature increase. Environmental experts now say that it means that the EU now don’t actually stand behind their goal of limiting global temperature rise to two degrees and are looking into other less relevant methods.

Environment Minister Lena Ek, (C) claims (C) Are washing their hands of their responsibilities and she had a tougher global temperature increase target. However Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that no country raised any such requirements.

EU Commission’s proposal will now be discussed by the Government and the European Parliament. But the situation is indeed grim. A few years ago Barroso spoke with a strong voice on the EU to take on a leading role in climate change. Now it has died down in favor of defensive talk that Europe takes its share of responsibility. But it is only reasonable that the EU with its developed countries take the lead and provide more time for poor countries to adjust.

Although there are no guarantees that the big emitters like China would follow Europe if we embarked on a more ambitious climate path.  Are we really left with an alternative?

With climate threat hanging over us, we can hardly afford not to be ambitious.

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