The European Parliament will on Tuesday be asked to endorse an increase in the European Union’s target for greenhouse gas reductions, from 20 to 30 per cent by 2020, compared to 1990. This makes good economic sense, and would be a major step forward in the battle against climate change — but 20 per cent is not enough, and the EU must now move quickly to make more ambitious cuts in their emissions.
The problem is that the existing 20 per cent target is too low, making it very difficult for the EU to reach its ultimate target of reducing emissions by 80-to-95 per cent by 2050. The decision that the European Parliament and other policymakers now face is whether the EU should join the front runners in the low-carbon race, or lag behind. The history of technological change shows that industrial revolutions are periods of great creativity, learning, innovation, investment and growth. Competitive advantage goes to the pioneers. Europe must do more, or risk being overtaken by those who do. Continue reading »