Cutting EU emissions deeply enough to help prevent dangerous climate change would be significantly cheaper than expected and would also have important benefits for Europe’s economy, the European Commission declared yesterday.
"This shows that 30 per cent cuts are not only possible but that the extra cost of achieving them is far lower than we thought," said Dr Alison Doig, Christian Aid’s Senior Adviser on Climate Change.
"When European leaders meet in June to discuss emissions levels, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne should push for the EU to immediately and unilaterally adopt a target of 30 per cent cuts by 2020, in line with his party’s manifesto", she added.
"For every year that we continue to rely on fossil fuels, we reduce the ability of poor countries to develop. Early action to decarbonise Europe's economy is not only the economically smart thing to do, it's a moral imperative."
The cost of cutting EU emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 is now estimated to be €81 billion a year by 2020, or 0.54 per cent of GDP, according to a communication released by the European Commission.
In 2008, the Commission estimated that the annual cost of cutting emissions by 20 per cent by 2020 would be €70 billion. The additional cost of moving to 30 per cent cuts has narrowed as a result of the recession.