30% emissions cuts would keep EU in front of green energy race

(PresseBox) ( Brussels, )
Following the release by the European Commission of its analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions, the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) today issued a briefing to MEPs, Commission and Member State officials that "urges Council and European Parliament to agree 30% domestic greenhouse gas reductions, in order to maintain Europe's technological and industrial leadership in renewable energy technologies."

The EWEA briefing tells EU decisionmakers it is "disappointed that the Communication falls short of recommending an immediate unilateral EU move to a 30% reduction," and that "for Europe to keep its first mover advantage, the EU needs to maintain its momentum in support of its most promising industries. A unilateral move to 30% GHG domestic reductions would maintain such a momentum."

It states that "the EU has been the cradle of renewable energy innovation, particularly wind power, and the European wind industry represents a growing number of jobs (192,000), significant and growing export opportunities, as well as increased energy security and competitiveness."

The EWEA briefing paper points out that "the benefits of moving to 30% outweigh the costs." It adds: "the Commission Communication highlights that the cost of reaching 20% GHG reductions has reduced from €70bn to €48bn, due to the financial crisis. The cost of moving to 30% GHG reductions is estimated to be €81bn, or just €11bn more than the initial estimate to reach 20%."

EWEA Chief Executive, Christian Kjaer, said, "the move to 30% would give a very strong signal to investors that Europe means business when it talks about green growth and a sustainable economy. The offer to go to 30% did not work in the Copenhagen climate summit but it would work in keeping the EU at the forefront of the green technology race. Europe is a world leader in wind energy but faces serious competition from China, the US, Japan, South Korea and India. I would hate to see Europe losing out because it was lulled into a false sense of security due to the failure of the climate negotiations."
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