BRUSSELS, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The ability to limit global warming and effectively combat climate change is within our reach, the European climate commissioner said Tuesday.
"We have a choice and we must have the political courage to act now, with ambition and collectively,"
Members of the European Union in October agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent, increase the renewable energy footprint by 27 percent and enhance energy efficiency by 27 percent from a 1990 benchmark by 2040.
Miguel Arias Cañete, European commissioner for climate action and energy, told the European Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety the bloc has the policies in place to arrest climate change.
A report published last week by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, from the combustion of fossil fuels accounted for 78 percent of the total emissions increase from 1970 to 2010.
The IPCC report said warming trends could slow under a scenario in which renewable energy grows from roughly 30 percent of the energy share to 80 percent by 2050.
Cañete said the IPCC's report sent a clear message of hope.
"This message is clear: it remains within our power to tackle climate change and limit global warming," he said.
European member states account for about 11 percent of the global emissions. The October agreement builds on a package of 20 percent targets for the three measures by 2020.