EU sets New Climate Target

EU sets New Climate Target

European Union leaders struck a deal on a new target to cut carbon emissions out to 2030, calling it a new global standard but leaving critics warning that compromises had undermined the fight against climate change.
Talks in Brussels stretched into the small hours of Friday as Poland battled to spare its coal industry and other states tweaked the guideline text on global warming to protect varied economic interests, from nuclear plants and cross-border power lines to farmers whose livestock belch out polluting methane, Reuters reported.
In the end, an overall target was agreed for the 28-nation bloc to cut its emissions of carbon in 2030 by at least 40 percent from levels in the benchmark year of 1990. An existing goal of a 20-percent cut by 2020 has already been nearly met.
EU leaders called the 40-percent target an ambitious signal to the likes of the United States and China to follow suit at a UN climate summit France is hosting in December next year.
"Europe is setting an example," French President Francois Hollande said, acknowledging that it had been a hard-won compromise but calling the final deal "very ambitious".
"Ultimately, this is about survival," said summit chair Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council.
But environmentalists had already complained that the deal could still leave the EU struggling to make the at least 80-percent cut by 2050 that its own experts say is needed to limit the rise in global average temperatures to two degrees Celsius.
The European Union also committed to at least 27 percent of renewables in 2030. This relates to the share of total energy consumed and the target is binding at EU level. Currently, the share of renewables stands at about 14 percent.
Another objective is to have electricity interconnection worth 15 percent by 2030. This means that for each 100 megawatts (MW) it produces, a member state should have the infrastructure to be able to import or export 15 MW.
The agreement on emissions ensures the EU remains the leader in the fight against global warming before the United Nations climate summit in Lima in December where delegates aim to persuade other large polluters to sign up for worldwide accord they aim to clinch in 2015 in Paris.


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