THE European Union continues to lead the way when it comes to environmental issues and climate change.
At the end of October, the union’s 28 member states agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% over the next 15 years.
And newly-elected President, Jean-Claude Juncker has already committed to rolling out a 30% binding target, saying he is ‘fully committed’ to making Europe an ‘environmentally cleaner’ continent.
A 30% cut in emissions relates to a 22% cut in gas imports and a 16% decrease in oil imports.
Although this has been largely viewed as a step forward, some members of the council still remain unconvinced, among them Green Party member, Philippe Lamberts. “Goals on renewables and energy efficiency are not binding, so they will never be reached,” he said.
“A 40% CO2 reduction goal is more than anywhere else, but not enough to save the planet.”
In response, Herman Van Rompuy, head of the European Council said: “Of course we could have been more ambitious but we needed the support of 28 member states. A 40% CO2 cut is still very ambitious.”
Member states also agreed to improve energy efficiency by 27% by 2030 through reducing waste and relying less on fossil fuels.
Countries that fail to meet the targets may be forced to pay for green credits from over-achieving neighbours.