Wednesday, January 23, 2008

EU Reveals Energy Plan of Action

This article on BBC is a follow-up to a blog post last week about how the European Commision was going to unveil the EU's new plan for carbon emission reductions.

The plan was revealed today and the overall goal is to reduce Europe's greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. The smaller changes proposed include extending and expanding the emissions trading scheme, increasing the use of renewable energy (country specific goals), and increasing use of biofuels for transportation to 10%. The expected impact on Europeans is estimated at 3 euros per person per week (60 billion euros are needed per year).

It seems like Europe is really committed to battling climate change, but this plan still has to be approved by the member states and may not even come into effect until 2009. It seems like 11 years may not be enough time to make these sorts of drastic changes (ex: from ~2% to 16% of energy in the UK from renewable energy in 11 years).

I think the EU is taking great steps toward helping carbon emissions, but I'm wondering if these goals are reasonable? At least for the US, more reasonable goals will be required to make any real progress on these issues. I would love to see something like this in the US, some commitment to making real reductions in emissions, but we should be careful to consider the time scales needed for meaningful change.

Article: " EU reveals energy plan of action"

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