As the US government endlessly debates the validity of climate change, the EU’s energy advisors are demanding more tangible and long-term solutions to create a low carbon society. The EU Commission recently released its 2050 Low-Carbon Roadmap that outlines the target goals for emission reductions and development. Yet the Energy and Climate leaders of 7 EU countries have demanded more aggressive planning and efforts to reach goals and agree on immediate investments for long-term climate reductions. This is a vastly different dialogue than the US’s legislative branch’s dialogues debating the scientific and religious reality of the climate question. The EU energy leaders are asking for a more cohesive plan focused strategic planning for investments, moving beyond the current roadmap’s focus on emission goal setting.
The energy leaders question the lack of specifics in the roadmap concerning how to achieve the 80% reduction mark. They agree this is an appropriate goal, but without guidance and agreement on what types of investments they will leverage to achieve the emissions and low-carbon future goals, planning can become counterproductive. For countries situated so closely to one another, with transportation systems among other things all intertwined, the agreements need to be made ahead of time in terms of technological investments. By banding together to suggest and possibly shape the direction of low-carbon investment, they will be able to leverage the EU’s collective power more quickly.
The leaders also see these specifics as their own roadmaps for growth, jobs, and the re-structuring of the European economy. A decision to invest in Hydrogen fuel cells by all of Europe, for example, will dictate the development of low-carbon economies around the world. The energy leaders see this as a critical time in history, as they lay out their respective countries’ plans for development with little fossil fuel reliance. Their low-carbon investments are being categorized as moves toward economic resilience.
With some of the economic powerhouses of the EU signing the request for tangible steps forward, the request should make some waves. The signatories include the UK, Greece, Sweden, Denmark, Spain, Portugal, and Germany. One of their immediate requests is changing the 20% target to 30% by 2020 based on the European Energy Efficiency Plan. A suggestion that has received a great deal of feedback from both sides. Yet the signatories stand by their request, and believe that the EU’s cooperative nature will guide their success.
To review the 2050 Low-Carbon Roadmap, visit the EU Commission on Climate Action.