EU policies deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions

EU policies deliver greenhouse gas emission reductions

EU policies deliver greenhouse gas emission reductionsThe European Union has been reducing its greenhouse gas emissions since 1990. The EU has ‘over-achieved’ its Kyoto target for the period 2008–2012 and is projected to ‘over-achieve’ its 2020 targets. Can we reduce GHG emissions and have a strong economy at the same time? What was the impact of the recent recession on the EU’s GHG emissions? Does policy work?

Since the beginning of global negotiations, both the European Union collectively and the Member States have been committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in order to mitigate climate change. In 2002, the EU and its 15 Member States at that time ratified the Kyoto Protocol, thereby committing to national targets as well as a joint target of collectively reducing the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions for the first commitment period 2008-2012 by 8 % compared to the 1990 levels. Currently, the EU-28 has committed to cutting by 2020 its emissions to 20% below 1990 levels.

We have recently provided the official GHG emission data for 2012 to the UN. The results are clear. In 2012, the EU’s average emissions stood 19.2 % below 1990 levels. The EU has not only achieved its commitments, it has actually succeeded in reducing its emissions much further. Moreover, this steady downward trend is expected to continue in the second commitment period 2013-2020.

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European Environment Agency Executive Director

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Alan Lloyd is the founder and Principal Consultant within IAMC. Alan has been working in the field of environmental monitoring and control since 1985 when he began with a London based consultancy involved in the management of asbestos removal projects in London and the South East. In 1989 he moved to Chester and began work for an oil exploration support company called Geochem and help them diversify by using their extensive laboratories facilities to move into the environmental sector.