It sounds almost too good to be true, but Europe could save €20 billion on fuel costs, improve its air quality and create up to 1.5 million new jobs, according to a new report. How? By moving to a higher climate target for 2020.
The European Commission report looked at the impact of moving to a target for a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions. Due to the financial crisis and industry slow-down, the current target – for a 20% cut – has become easy to reach.
The report compared the impact a 30% target would have on the different EU countries. It found that the poorer countries could benefit the most. For example, one option would be richer countries having their “carbon emissions allowances” (permits to emit a certain amount of carbon) reduced.
This would mean the price of a carbon allowance would go up, and the poorer countries would benefit from the higher price without losing allowances.
A 30% target is achievable, EWEA has long argued. Wind energy alone would do 20% of the work, avoiding one-fifth of the necessary emissions in 2020.
For more, see the latest Wind Directions