Europe looking for climate strategies to 2050

With the United States charting its way out of the Paris climate agreement, European leaders look to take up the mantel.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  July 6, 2018 at 7:42 AM
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July 6 (UPI) -- The European commissioner for climate action said Friday it's time to start looking beyond the horizon outlined in the Paris climate agreement.

"The clean energy transition will be key, and achieving our climate objectives will require contributions from every part of the economy and society," European Climate Commissioner Arias Cañete said in a statement.

The European Commission said it was setting a new bar for renewable energy use with a 32 percent target for 2030, with an additional consideration for further revisions in 2023. The governing body said this step puts more strength behind European President Jean-Claude Juncker's ambition for Europe to become the world leader in renewable energy use.

Cañete hosts high-level talks next week with thousands of leaders from the business, research and civil sectors. The agenda is focused on a March proposal to develop by the first quarter of 2019 long-term measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The European body already this year said it would work on agreements to monitor emissions of carbon dioxide, a potent greenhouse gas, and consumption from trucks, buses and coaches. It's the first effort ever made in the European Union for those types of vehicles.

"The European Union has put in place the legislation to meet its Paris commitment for 2030," Cañete said Friday. "It is now time to look at the longer term perspective and to set out a strategy for where EU climate policy is heading by 2050."

Juncker has said that, with U.S. President Donald Trump charting a way out of the Paris climate agreement, it would be Europe that set the rules of the game in the fight against climate change.

Eurostat, the record-keeping office for the European community, reported total carbon dioxide emissions for the European Union increased 1.8 percent last year. Malta reported the largest increase from 2016 with 12.8 percent, while Finland had the largest decline with 5.9 percent.

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