Europe needs to step up on climate change!

The European climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard did her best yesterday with the Commission to show that European business and national interests would benefit from Europe setting a target of -30% reductions in emissions. The additional investment costs would only be an additional €11bn a year – with long term benefits in terms of leading on green energy.

It isn’t just Europe that would benefit either; at a lively panel discussion hosted by the ippr this morning, Steve Rayner (Director, Science, Innovation and society) said that it was crucial that we put much more funding for green energy, in order to bring down the costs of technologies such as wind and solar. This would then make it cheaper for countries such as China and India to continue to develop while reducing their emissions.

Of course, another stumbling block is large scale international finance to help these countries – but the UN Secretary General’s High Level Advisory Group on Climate Finance (AGF for short) is working on that, we hope. It really is urgent for Europe to set an example as a developed country that low carbon technologies can deliver – as we are still on a pathway to a climate disaster for millions of people in developing countries by 2100 if we don’t move quickly to transform our economies and support adaptation.

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