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European energy industry calls for lower gas emissions target

The European Union
“’ an appeal to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions
by at least 25%
Brussels, Belgium — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 08 March 2011 – Six European energy industry CEO’s have called on the European Union (EU) to adopt a greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of at least 25% by 2020.

Making this appeal in a joint declaration released here, they said: “We urge European leaders to move beyond the 20% economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target by 2020. This would contribute to a healthy and market-driven EU investment climate for sustainable energy, and put Europe back in the driving seat in the transition to a prosperous, low-carbon Europe.”

The signed declaration noted that recent international climate change negotiations had not had the result many had hoped for and which science had indicated was required. It also noted that the focus on effective climate change policies and their importance for the EU’s energy system seemed to have lost momentum.

The CEOs said they acknowledge the analysis in a draft communication from the European Commission that a move to 25% domestic reduction by 2020 represented the most cost-efficient pathway to the necessary reductions of 80 to 95% GHG emissions in 2050.

“The benefits of early action far outweigh the costs of inertia or delayed action,” the declaration said. “It is simply vital that the targets are both ambitious and unambiguous, and provide a clear signal to Europe’s businesses and citizens.”

The CEOs also acknowledged that in early February, European Heads of State had recognised that Europe needed a revolution in the region’s energy system.“This will not happen if we don’t step up our ambition now. We therefore urge our leaders to deliver on their commitments, support that revolution, and move beyond the 20% by 2020 target to a domestic target of at least 25%,” the declaration added.

“Tackling climate change should be a race to the top, not a case of settling for the lowest common denominator,” it continued.