As with the UK, there is an alarming habit (at the moment) within the EU, to make grandiose targets for cuts. Is this one of those or does the EU actually stand a chance of meeting this?
Well between 1990 and 2019 the EU cut its emissions by roughly 24% – a not insignificant achievement.
However, lets look at it more carefully. That would mean that the EU cut less than 1% of its emissions annually for the last 30 years. The problem is that to hit 55% emissions reduction by 2030 requires cuts of 31% to be made in just over 8 years – roughly 4% a year.
So how will they do this? Well, thankfully it does seem a more carefully constructed plan than some in the UK, though we will have to wait to see what progress is actually made. In 2019 roughly 20% of Europe’s electricity was made from renewables, the aim is to double that by 2030. They are also going to concentrate on transport – pointing at their ban of internal combustion engines by 2035 (Someone explain to me, how something happening in 2035 helps fulfil cuts by 2030? its true that hopefully more and more vehicles will be sold as pure electric, but carbon cuts are seen after sale not before). In a similar vein they intend to greatly increase tax on aviation and shipping.
Another issue that is intended to be addressed is taxation. If all these things come into place, it will make manufacturing in the EU more expensive. If there is not a tax on imports, which puts a similar load, business will simply switch to outside the EU – a net loss on the environment.
These do all appear impressive aims. Time will tell if they actually manage to have the desired effect. Of course there is no ability to wait for 2030 – if the EU recognize that they are not getting the cuts required, we need to see these methods ratcheted up soon if they are to have any chance of meeting a 55% cut by 2030.