European Union to Propose 2030 Climate Framework by 2014

The European Union plans to propose next year or in 2014 a framework for reducing greenhouse gases in the period until 2030 to ensure regulatory stability necessary for investments in clean technologies.

The proposal will “provide a long-term perspective on how the EU will move ahead from its 2020 targets to continue the trajectory toward a low-carbon economy,” the European Commission said in a policy paper on its work program published today in Strasbourg, France.

The 27-nation EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, has a binding goal of cutting emissions by 20 percent in 2020 compared with 1990 levels and a political target to reduce greenhouse gases by 80 percent to 95 percent in 2050. The planned proposal will show how to meet the long-term climate objective, according to the document.

The commission said last year that the most cost-efficient way to reach the 2050 target would be to lower pollution by 40 percent in 2030 and 60 percent in 2040. While most EU countries have voiced support for the so-called low-carbon road map by the commission, Poland vetoed a ministerial declaration backing the future emissions-reduction trajectory twice.

The planned 2030 framework for climate could also impact emission caps in the EU emissions trading system, a cornerstone of the bloc’s climate policy. The program, known as the EU ETS, imposes pollution caps on about 12,000 utilities and manufacturing companies in the region, leading to a cap on discharges in 2020 that will be 21 percent below 2005 levels.

Under existing EU law pollution limits in the cap-and-trade program will fall by 1.74 percent annually as of 2013. That will lead to a “just over 70 percent reduction” in the ETS cap by 2050, which is not consistent with the long-term objective, according to a draft report on the state of the EU carbon market obtained by Bloomberg News and due to be published by the commission next month.

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