Air Clean Up
EU 30% Carbon Emissions Target: Achievable and Affordable
Jan 21 2010
The European Union can achieve a 30% cut in greenhouse gas emissions at practically zero net cost. Simply replacing all energy-related equipment at the end of its economic life with low-carbon technologies, paid for thanks to lower energy bills, could almost halve the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions within two decades.
This is the conclusion of SERPEC-CC (Sectoral Emission Reduction Potentials and Economic Costs for Climate Change), a comprehensive two-year study that closely examined 650 relevant technologies across ten major sectors. The study was coordinated by Ecofys, a consultancy firm in the field of sustainable energy and climate change. The study’s publication comes on the eve of the European Council meeting at which European heads of state will meet to discuss cuts to the EU’s carbon emissions.
SERPEC assumes that low-carbon technologies will be applied in each cycle of renewal or renovation of industrial plants, power production plants, buildings, cars, trucks and electric appliances. SERPEC concludes that the potential for greenhouse gas emissions reductions through a shift to low-carbon technologies in the EU27 is 30% (below the 1990 level) by 2020 and 45% by 2030. The accompanying cost-curve graph gives a visual explanation of how much each of the technologies saves or costs money. It also clearly shows how the two effectively cancel each other out, thus making the changes cost neutral.
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