The European Union is so far doing a very good job to meet and even over-achieve its 2020 objective for reducing greenhouse emissions by a fifth, according to the recent report “Trends and Projections in Europe 2015” published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). The study revealed that the greenhouse emissions in Europe went down by 23 percent between 1990 and 2014 and reached their lowest record levels.
The most recent projections by Member States show that the block is about to reduce its emissions by 24 percent by 2020 or eventually by 25 percent if additional measures are introduced. Brussels is also already working towards its 2030 target, which aims to reduce emissions by at least 40 percent. EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, said that the latest results were more than satisfactory. “These results speak for themselves: Europe succeeded in cutting emissions by 23 percent between 1990 and 2014 while the European economy grew by 46 percent over the same period,” he said and added that “the EU has consistently shown that climate protection and economic growth go hand in hand”.
Brussels believes that these results send “a strong signal ahead of the Paris climate conference that Europe stands by its commitments and that the EU climate and energy policies work.” Emissions are expected to fall further beyond 2020 albeit at a slower pace. According to estimates, reductions might go down as much as by 30 percent if additional measures are taken by 2030. Brussels has recently proposed to revamp the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) in order to facilitate implementing the EU’s 2030 targets.