Economist calls for EU emissions target

September 25, 2013

Former chief economist at World Bank Lord Stern has called on the European Union (EU) to make an ambitious goal to halve the amount of carbon emissions produced on the content from 1990 to 2030. 

This could help to increase business confidence and prove to other global nations that Europe is serious about tackling the risks associated with climate change. 

As reported by BusinessGreen, Lord Stern said that setting a target for carbon reduction is more pressing than the need for specific technology targets. He spoke to reporters ahead of the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) fifth assessment. 

Lord Stern suggested that indecisiveness over energy policies by the UK government would be damaging for the investment in carbon-saving technologies such as solar panels, renewable generation systems and wind power. 

Chris Huhne set a target to halve emissions in the UK by 2025 in 2011, but this is set to be reviewed next year. Furthermore, the UK government has failed to set specific goals for carbon reduction which have been passed into official policy. 

The government does understand the need to reduce carbon emissions and has introduced policies such as the feed-in tariff and the Green Deal to encourage further take-up of renewable technology. 

The European Commission is expected to deliver concrete legislative proposals for climate change up to 2030, with early suggestions calling for a 40 per cent carbon reduction in the coming decades. However, Lord Stern has suggested that this target might be far too conservative.

"If you take the sluggishness of this extended period… targets which were set some time ago, look modest because emissions are closely related to output. So 40 per cent would look and be quite modest, and wouldn't be much of acceleration down the path we need to go," he added. 

However, he did say that he agreed with Ed Davey that new EU renewable energy and efficiency targets do not need to be set. 

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