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EU CAN RAISE TARGETS MORE CHEAPLY AND FAIRLY

01/23/2012

The European Union could raise its binding 2020 emissions goals from 20 to 30 percent of 1990 levels much more cheaply and with costs divided much more fairly than originally believed, according to a draft EU document. The financial crisis has virtually guaranteed that the EU will achieve its 20 percent target, according to Reuters, and it also means that a 30 percent reduction would be much more affordable. An analysis showed that the cost of raising the EU's target (previously estimated at 33 billion euros (US $42.6 billion)) would hit poorer states harder, which created additional political obstacles. The Commission responded with an analysis demonstrating ways to better divide costs, including reducing permits in wealthy countries while leaving the number in central and eastern European states unchanged. Such measures would also raise the price of carbon permits, currently near record lows of 7 euros (US $9) per metric ton. The report concludes that raising the targets will likely save money in the short and long term, as a higher goal will encourage businesses to make the low carbon choices needed for deeper cuts. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/18/us-eu-climate-target-idUSTRE80H19220120118 and http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/18/30-percent-emissions-cut-cheaper?newsfeed=true.