As Julia Gillard defends her controversial ‘Carbon Tax’ the European Commission launches a rescue roadmap outlining methods and preventative policies to reverse the expedited demise of earths atmosphere.
Moving to a Low Carbon Economy in 2050, explores how best to achieve Europe’s 80-95 percent emission reduction goal.
The imperative for immediate action and a long-term vision for climate protection are more urgent than ever. Last year was the hottest on record jointly with 2005. Nine of the ten warmest years in history occurred after 2000. Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of extreme weather events, including last year’s runaway Russian fires and major flooding in Pakistan and Australia.
There are direct economic incentives for moving to a higher climate target. A recent study for the German government by Oxford and Sorbonne Universities and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), found that a 30 percent target for the EU could create up to six million jobs, net, by 2020. The price spikes of oil and coal this February, to $100 US per barrel and $145 a tonne respectively, underline the need to shield economies from fossil fuel price volatility.
Progressive companies see the need for better action on climate. Over the last six months well-known brands, including Unilever, GE Energy, Philips, Allianz and Deutsche Telekom, have called on EU governments to support a 30 percent climate target for 2020.
Science tells us that all developed countries would need to reduce emissions by 80-95% in order to have a fair chance of keeping global warming below 2°C. If we do not step up climate action, temperatures might increase by as much as 4°C by 2100.
Efficiency savings are a major element of the roadmap. However, as experience proves, today’s voluntary efficiency targets are not enough. A 30 percent target will ensure that they are met and will fix Europe’s failing carbon trading system.
Greenpeace calls on business in the EU to speak out in favour of innovation and green growth and to support an unconditional 30 percent carbon target by 2020, compared to 1990.
Greenpeace EU climate and energy policy director Joris den Blanken said: “The Commission paper shows it has never been easier for Europe to up its climate effort. Raging wildfires and floods in recent years show it has never been more needed. What’s holding us up is a twisted carbon market and lobbyists trying their best to keep Europe in neutral.”
Greenpeace International climate campaigner Mareike Britten said: “Some of the biggest names in business are recognising that it makes sound economic sense to get our climate in order and move Europe to a 30 percent target. Now is the time for other progressive companies to demand leadership from the EU before it is too late to head off runaway climate change.”