Friday, March 09, 2007

Europe Agrees Reneweable Energy and Climate Plan

Europe has agreed, to a renewable energy and climate plan.

The plan stets a target for 20% cuts in carbon emissions (based on the 1990 levels) by 2020.

As the EU has 456Million people, compared with 300 million in the US. Emissions from this group are therefore significant, if somewhat lower than the US. Impacts beyond direct emissions cuts are however more important.Will the US get on board, will the developed world move ahead and provide the leadership required to make this fight on climate change win able?

A separate but extremely welcome part of the overall movement has seen renewable energy receiving a major boost. 20% of all electricity [correction: primary energy not just electricity!] in Europe will have to be renewable by 2020. The current level is just 7% so this is a clear long term signal to clean-tech industries that they have a market. The deal involved much last minute wrangling but much to the relief of environmentalists the wording stated renewable rather than low-carbon, thereby avoiding the inclusion of nuclear and ccs. Any targets for these technologies will have to be decided separately.

One interesting aspect of the last minute wrangling is that not every nation will have to meet a 20% target but that the EU will negotiate burden sharing later. I find these complexities fascinating. If we imagine each European nation taking on a 20% target then the consequence overall would include some meeting the target, a few in non compliance doing worse, and probably quite a few doing better, due to domestic measures already commited to. The question therefore is how do you create an equivalent policy that represents the same gains? Most likely tough targets will be given to nations that are either already committed or are pre-disposed to. Whilst we can still reach the 20% per country average this way, we do not reach a 20% per country minimum. I feel like i could do with a diagram, but hopefully you get the picture. It is of course possible that there is less non-compliance along with lower numbers of countries exceeding there targets (which are ambitious where easily achieved) but it is still an interesting question. Perhaps it could be said that an aggregate target will allow the low hanging fruit to be utilised more completely due to the details of the agreement, but as these fruit are low hanging it is more than likely that they would have been picked anyway. The countries with pore renewable resources will not however aim high so in reality the effect will be less. Any thoughts?

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At 5:19 PM, Anonymous Carlini said...

Is the EU's new renewable

energy target
enough to stem the tide of global warming? Article with useful facts and


At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Sorry to go off topic, but I was wondering if you saw the programme on Channel Four on Thursday, entitled "The Great Global Warming Swindle". If so, can I ask what your opinion of it was?

At 8:24 PM, Blogger tim said...

Hey anonymous. Here's a good post from Greenman's Occasional Organ on the programme:

At 8:28 PM, Blogger tim said...

And in this post, Greenman links to several posts on the programme:


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