The European Union has been committed for years to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990).
As we have seen in a recent article, reaching such targets is very plausible and wouldn’t need much additional effort from the 15 historic members nor the enlarged 27 countries Union.
This is why many have called time and again to go further and decrease emissions by 30 percent. Well, it seems it could be the case one day as a narrow majority ( but a majority nonetheless ) of members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have called for such cuts ahead of the forthcoming climate change summit in Doha.
Several groups of companies and non governmental organizations have called for action in this sense. Several members States are willing to do so, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark and France. Other countries – such as Greece, Spain and Portugal – could pay their debts back thanks to renewable energy.
The MEPs who voted for such cuts believe that cutting EU emissions by 20 percent wouldn’t be sufficient to prevent global temperatures to warm by just 2°C, the maximum increase according to many scientific bodies including the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
Additionally, increase effort to stabilize the climate are also seen as job creating, a most needed move as almost 26 million people are looking for jobs in the Union. The unemployment rate was at 10.6 percent in October. Youth unemployment is even higher, with 22.8 percent.
Indeed, it has been demonstrated that cleantech is more job creating than fossil fuels : to data gathered by the University of Massachusetts, investing one million dollars can create five jobs in natural gas, seven in coal, 13 in wind power, 14 in solar, 16 in biomass, 17 in building retrofits and a huge 22 jobs in mass transit and light rail.
Last but not least, the MEPs who voted for such a move believe that by showing leadership on the issue the EU could help forge an agreement at next week’s UN Climate Summit in Doha to renew the Kyoto Protocol, which is ending at the end of the year.
The EU is supportive of extending the treaty, which is seen as as a bridge to a global, legally-binding treaty that could be finalized by 2015 and in place by 2020 under a roadmap agreed at the UN’s Durban Summit last year.