Keywords: climate policy, common and coordinated policies and measures, energy efficiency, european union, greenhouse gases, policies and measures
Common and coordinated policies and measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union
This paper discusses whether the emissions of greenhouse gases in the European Union can be cut substantially, by 8% or 15%, which are the outcome of the Kyoto summit on climate and the EU negotiating position for this meeting, respectively. The Council of Ministers of the EU have defined a range of common and coordinated policies and measures that can help in reaching this target. Important policies to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide turn out to be renewable energy programmes, the stimulation of combined generation of heat and power, measures to support the use of more efficient appliances, voluntary agreements in heavy industry, and carbon dioxide emission standards for passenger cars. Instead of a 9% growth of CO2 emissions in a business-as-usual scenario from 1990 to 2010 a reduction of 5-15% is possible. Also, for other greenhouse gases there is room for policies and measures to reduce emissions. We conclude that the targets for the EU are feasible, but that substantial policy development is still necessary to attain these targets.