A new analysis concludes that if the EU were to set higher emissions-cutting goals now, by increasing its current target of a 20% cut to a 25 or 30% by 2020, it would save money in the medium and long term, reports Fiona Harvey at the UK Guardian. A 25% cut would generate €20bn a year in fuel cost savings alone. Partly due to the recession, but also because of efforts made in the past decade to cut carbon, the current 20% emissions-cutting goal is almost met. The problem with this is that because the goal is no longer stretching, businesses and consumers are likely to make high-carbon investments in the next decade instead of making the lower-carbon choices needed. Thus, it will cost far more to cut emissions in the 2020s and 2030s, when deeper cuts will be needed to avoid dangerous climate change. Europe-wide, it would cost about 0.5% of GDP to achieve a 30% emission cut by 2020, but this does not include benefits such as building a green economy, lower air pollution and potential savings on future soaring prices of fossil fuels.
Tougher 30 percent emissions cut would be cheaper than expected: Report. Chris Huhne’s support for higher 30 percent emissions cut target gets boost as European Commission analysis concludes it would actually save money over a smaller cut. Guardian