European Parliament calls for 80 percent emission reduction by 2050


The Bellona scenario proposes cuts of 85 percent compared to 2005 levels.

The European Parliament’s call for an 80 percent target was expressed in two non-binding resolutions: One on the so-called Second Strategic Energy Review launched by the European Commission last year, and one called 2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU’s future integrated policy on climate change which is the final report from the Parliament’s ad hoc Climate Change Committee. Previously, EU environment ministers had committed themselves to a 60-80 percent reduction target by 2050.

“The Parliament’s support for an 80 percent reduction target provides us with an important political argument to push for the binding legislation and funding needed to speed up research, development, demonstration and deployment of all environmentally safe climate change solutions,” says Eivind Hoff of Bellona Europa. He adds that it is still not going far enough, as an 85 percent global reduction by 2050 is required – which in the name of global justice means a higher reduction for the richer parts of the world.

The resolutions, being non-binding, generally stop short of proposing specific measures to achieve the overall climate change targets. They do, however, express broad support for energy efficiency, renewable energy, CO2 capture and storage (CCS) and nuclear fusion. For energy efficiency, the Parliament also calls for a binding energy efficiency improvement target of at least 20 percent by 2020.

“We are also glad that the Parliament reaffirms its strong support to CCS and calls on the Commission to consider all financial possibilities to build 12 demonstration projects by 2015,” says Hoff.

The Parliament further supports the Commission’s earlier proposal to develop a plan for an offshore network in the North Sea in order to exploit the enormous wind energy potential. It also welcomes in this connection the creation of a European supergrid by linking the network infrastructures of the North Sea, Mediterranean and Baltic regions.