Climate change: EU in the lead ahead of Paris with 23% emissions cut

The “Trends and projections in Europe 2015” report published today by the European Environment Agency (EEA)reveals that the EU is on track towards meeting and overachieving its 2020 target forreducing greenhouse gas emissions. EU’s gas emissions decreased by 23% between 1990 and 2014 and reached the lowest levels onrecord. Latest projections by Member States show that the EU is heading for a 24% reduction by 2020 and is already working towards its 2030 goal of an emissions reduction target of at least 40% — the EU’s contribution towards the new global climate change agreement in Paris in December. EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “These results speak for themselves: Europe succeeded in cutting emissions by 23% between 1990 and 2014 while the European economy grew by 46% over the same period. We have shown consistently that climate protection and economic growth go hand in hand. This is a strong signal ahead of the Paris climate conference that Europe stands by its commitments and that our climate and energy policies work. And we have already taken the first steps towards implementing our Paris pledge with new proposals presented earlier this year.” EEA Executive Director Hans Bruyninckx said: “Europe’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy have resulted in concrete gains. Our report shows that the EU is on track towards its 2020 climate targets. The report also shows that to achieve our longer-term goals for 2030 and 2050, a fundamental change is needed in the way we produce and use energy in Europe.”  A full press release is available online.