solutions are financially and technically achievable, but political will is
December 1, 2009 – One week ahead of crucial climate change talks in
Copenhagen, a new study released today by Stockholm Environment Institute in
partnership with Friends of the Earth Europe proves for the first time that
Europe could double its greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2020.
research, ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge: Domestic Actions and
International Obligations to Protect the Planet’  shows how Europe can cut domestic emissions by 40% in 2020, and by 90% in 2050, compared to 1990
levels. This is the minimum scale and speed of reductions science says is
likely to be needed from rich countries to avert a climate catastrophe and
would enable the European Union to live up to its historical responsibility for
causing climate change.
Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This
study proves that it is possible for Europe to deliver its fair share of
necessary global emission cuts. A 40% cut by 2020 in Europe is feasible and affordable, and it can be done without resorting to dangerous or
unproven solutions. Current political proposals are not ambitious enough - we
need a bold shift in policy and determination from European politicians now.
The EU can make these cuts in a way which not only improves the quality of life
for people in Europe, but also ensures the rights of poorer parts of the world
to develop sustainably.”
detailed modeling the study describes a comprehensive pathway for Europe to achieve 40% emissions cuts through a combination of radical improvements in
energy efficiency, the accelerated phase-out of fossil fuels, a dramatic shift
towards renewable energies, and lifestyle changes.
changes envisaged by the study include a shift to public transport with only
43% of trips being made by car in 2050 compared to 75% in 2005. Such changes could
make the carbon footprint of the average European 8 times smaller in 2050 than
report estimates the costs of the scenario, and outlines the EU’s fair share of
the finances needed for developing countries to fight climate change. It
calculates that between 2010 and 2020 mitigation costs in Europe would likely
be about 2% of the EU’s discounted cumulative GDP of €111trillion, or 2€ per
person per day, which is a value consistent with other mitigation studies.
study also shows that aggressive actions to cut emissions at home will not be
enough to keep the planet safe from dangerous climate change and that the EU
and others with the capacity and responsibility, must support the developing
world’s climate challenge. The EU’s fair share of finances for the developing
world for both mitigating and adapting to climate change amounts to between
€150 billion and €450 billion per year by 2020 - another 1% to 3% of the EU’s
GDP, or less then 3€ per day per person according to the study.
actions to cut emissions at home coupled with adequate finances for developing
countries are the two-fold obligation which Europe must fulfill to fight
climate change in a fair and just way.
study shows that with these actions greater equity can also be achieved within Europe since changes in patterns of economic growth in different nations will close the gap
between the richest and poorest countries.
Heaps of Stockholm Environment Institute, lead author of the
report and a senior scientist in SEI’s climate and energy program, said: “Our
analysis shows that deep cuts in emissions can be achieved in Europe at
reasonable cost between now and 2050, even with rather conservative assumptions
about technological improvement. The scale and speed of changes required may
seem daunting, and indeed it will require a mobilisation of Europe’s economies,
but the potential costs of inaction are so large that doing nothing presents a
far more implausible and dangerous future pathway for Europe.”
more information please contact:
Gater, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 28 93 10 10
or +32 4 85 93 05 15, email@example.com
Watt, Head of Communications, Stockholm Environment Institute, +46 73 707 85
 A summary of the study by Friends of the Earth Europe entitled 'The 40%
Study - Mobilising Europe to achieve climate justice is available here.
media briefing for journalists is available here.
full report ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge: Domestic Actions and
International Obligations to Protect the Planet’ is available at: www.sei-international.org/climateshareeurope
Stockholm Environment Institute is an independent, international research
institute working on environment and development issues. The institute’s goal
is to bridge science and policy on sustainability.
of the Earth’s climate campaign, the Big Ask, is calling on governments across
Europe to commit to legally binding year on year cuts in emissions equal to a
40% reduction of EU-wide domestic emissions by 2020. www.thebigask.eu