For the fourth year in a row, Europe has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions, with CO2 output falling by 1.3 percent in 2008.
The recession appears to be the main factor in the emissions reduction, as factories were idled across the continent. But European Union Environmental Commissioner Stavros Dimas said the EU’s emissions trading scheme and development of renewable energy sources also is playing a part in the reduction.
“This is a timely message to the rest of the world in the run-up to the Copenhagen climate conference,” said Dimas.
The EU has now cut emissions 6.2 percent over 1990 levels and is on track to meet a target under the Kyoto Protocol for reducing emissions 8 percent below 1990 levels during the period 2008 to 2012.
Meanwhile, the EU began restricting the sale of incandescent light bulbs, requiring that stores no longer be allowed to buy or import most incandescent bulbs. Once current stocks are exhausted, merchants will only sell more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
Appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360.
[photo credit: Flickr]
Europe is indeed on the right track about climate change mitigation. But we shouldn’t forget that we don’t have to overall cut our emissions by 8 percent but by 80…
But I believe this can be done by 2050 or sooner. Indeed, renewables are already adding gigawatts to the grids each year and as you noted the European emission trading scheme (the way they call cap and trade here) is beginning to cut the industrial sector’s emissions.
Regarding incandescent bulbs this is nice but literally peanuts compared to the four ecodesigns measures the Union enacted.
To me, more intelligent regulations on efficiency and renewables, cap and trade and carbon tax : these three means altogether will do the trick. Take separately they won’t cut our emissions as fast as necessary. What do you think ?
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