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Driving Europe's Transition To A Low Carbon Economy

The European Commission has outlined a package of measures to accelerate the transition to low-carbon emissions in all sectors of the economy in Europe.

The Commission is working to keep the EU competitive as the global social economic model changes following the impetus to move towards a modern and low-carbon economy set by the Paris Agreement on climate change.  The proposals set clear and fair guiding principles to prepare for the future and keep Europe competitive. This is part and parcel of the Energy Union and a forward-looking Climate Change policy.

In 2014 the EU agreed to a clear commitment: to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions of at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels across all sectors of the economy. Today's proposals present binding annual greenhouse gas emissions targets for Member States from 2021-2030 for the transport, buildings, agriculture, waste, land-use and forestry sectors as contributors to EU climate action.

Each country has been given its own individual target for 2030 based on 2005 levels, with richer countries such as Luxembourg, Austria and Germany requested to bring down emissions by up to 40% in less than 14 years. Eastern and Southern European states have been set smaller targets as a reflection on the health of their economies. Countries with higher GDP per capita have been set tougher targets than less developed countries, with the UK set an emissions reduction target of -37%.

The Commission has also set out a strategy on low-emission mobility setting the course for the development of EU-wide measures on low and zero-emission vehicles and alternative low-emissions fuels.

Dean Boyce