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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

27 March 2013

EU urges climate change action despite economic woes

Connie Hedegaard, the EU's Commissioner for Climate Action, has urged the bloc to continue its battle against climate change despite Europe's economic woes, as it launched the search for new emission cut goals by 2030.

The commission voiced concerns as it launched the search for new emission cut goals by 2030, that, as the eurozone crisis drains state coffers, members could lose sight of the battle.

The 27-nation bloc‘s commissioner for climate action, urged a continued shift from fossil fuels to clean renewables and stated that the effects of climate change are having an increased effect that will require continued efforts to mitigate.

The EU has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050 based on 1990 figures, the most ambitious target among major economic powers.

For 2020, the bloc had set a "20-20-20" strategy - cutting emissions, raising the share of renewable energy and improving energy efficiency by 20 per cent each.

The search for new goals for 2030 will now focus minds, said Hedegaard and Oettinger as they opened a public consultation on what the next steps should be.

The commission‘s own analyses have suggested that, if the EU wants to meet its 2050 goal, it needs to make a 40 per cent cut in emissions by 2030.

The Greens in the European Parliament argued that the EU is capable of slashing emissions by more than 50 per cent by 2030.

Greenpeace said the goal should be at least 55 per cent.

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