EU promises 'a new industrial revolution'

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The European Commission has set out plans to keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2 degrees. The authors said that limiting global warming to 2ºC is both technically feasible and economically affordable if the international community acts swiftly.

The Commissions hopes to achieve a 20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 through a raft of new energy plans which it likens to a new industrial revolution. The proposals include:

  • an EU-wide energy market, which the commission claims would trigger investment in energy
  • a binding target for 20% of energy to be supplied from renewable sources by 2020
  • a requirement for transport fuels to contain 10% biofuel by 2020
  • a requirement for primary energy use to be reduced by 20%
  • an increase in the annual budget for energy research by 50%.

Although it is too early to tell what effect the proposals will have, environmentalists have already raised concerns over the measures, arguing that the targets are too weak and that a nod to nuclear energy and the need for US support may cause problems.

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