EU Will Show Stricter CO2 Goal Is Cost-Effective, Hedegaard Says

A European Union report next month will show that moving to a stricter emissions-reduction target will be cost-effective for the 27-nation bloc, Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said.

The European Commission, the EU regulatory, is due to present a scenario in March for reaching its internal long-term targets for cutting greenhouse gases that cause scientists say cause global warming. The bloc, aiming to be a leader in the worldwide fight against climate change, is poised to meet its 2020 goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels and aims to reduce them by as much as 95 percent in 2050.

The coming report will set a mid-term target for 2030 and “prove that it is cost-efficient, cost-effective to move up more than 20 percent in the short term,” Hedegaard said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The EU has said it is ready to tighten its 2020 target to 30 percent if other countries follow suit. It has stopped short of doing so in the past two years, citing a lack of comparable effort by the U.S. and China.

Member states remain at odds on whether the bloc should pursue a more-ambitious target. French, German and U.K. officials called on the EU last year to move to a 30 percent target or risk falling behind the U.S. and China in developing low-carbon technology. Countries including Hungary and Poland have said the bloc should be cautious about stricter goals.

China wants to cut carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by as much as 45 percent of 2005 levels by 2020. As part of its international climate pledge, the U.S. said it will cut greenhouse gases by 17 percent below their 2005 level by 2020, and a bill that has been shelved set a 42 percent carbon-reduction for the world’s biggest economy in 2030.

“We do not have to do it as steep as that because we are doing more in the short term, but in Europe, we also have to do substantially more up to 2030,” Hedegaard said today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Gabi Thesing in Davos at Ewa Krukowska in Brussels

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at Craig Stirling at

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