On Wednesday 22 January, the European Commission published a new climate target for 2030: a reduction in greenhouse gases of 40%, relative to 1990 levels. This target is to be achieved domestically, which means without possible reductions elsewhere in the world financed by the EU. According to a PBL study, if the EU was to contribute in accordance with its economic strength to limiting global warming to 2 degree Celsius, it should aim for an emission reduction of 45% to 47%.
In the scientific journal Climate Policy, PBL co-authored an article comparing the large number of varying opinions on fair contributions to global greenhouse gas reduction. They concluded that OECD countries should aim for a reduction target of 50% (with a large range), including reductions financed elsewhere in the world.
A clear stimulation of innovation will be crucial to reduce the costs of EU climate policy. Complementary targets for greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and clean innovation could lead to the most cost-efficient policy package.