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EU Commission Roadmap: 95% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

Brussels, EU: The European Commission adopted ‘A Roadmap for Moving to a Competitive Low Carbon Economy in 2050′ earlier this month (8 March) in which it proposed an 80% to 95% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 from a 1990 baseline.

The move confirms the European Council’s “Low Carbon 2050 Strategy” announced at its February Summit.

To reach this ambitious long-term target the Commission recommends achieving transitional reductions across all GHG-intensive sectors: 20% by 2020, 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040.

Parallel to these generic targets, the Commission also proposed sector-specific reductions with a reduction by 2050 of 54% to 67% of GHGs originating from the transport sector.

The roadmap is not law but encourages the EU to dedicate 1.5% of its total GDP to investments, private and public, in low carbon energy sources and low carbon infrastructure.

The Commission said that higher fuel efficiency is a key factor in reversing the process of GHG increases and recommends increasing use of sustainable biofuels, especially in the transport sector (primarily aviation and heavy duty trucks). This strategy would result in lowering member states’ reliance on energy imports and their exposure to oil price instability.

The Commission will use this roadmap as a policy document to encourage further international negotiations on a global climate change agreement and to reinforce EU’s cooperation with its “Neighbourhood Partners” towards the adoption of initiatives for the promotion of a low carbon economy. The roadmap will also stimulate further dialogue with economic sectors that contribute significantly to GHGs within the EU.