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EU to attain emissions target ahead of schedule

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

A foresight study by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has indicated that the European Union (EU) is likely to achieve its 2020 emissions target ahead of schedule in non-emissions trading scheme (ETS) sectors.

Emissions have been reduced by implemented policy measures and the EU’s weak economic performance. Recent calculations suggest that the target would still be achieved even if economic growth were to return to its normal trajectory.

The non-ETS sector aims at a 10% reduction by 2020, compared to 2005 levels. According to the EU Commission’s Low Carbon Economy Roadmap, emissions for the non-ETS sector in 2030 will be around 24 – 36% lower than in 2005.

This implies that not all emissions quotas will need to be used. The VTT anticipates that the cumulative surplus for 2013 – 2020 emission quotas in non-ETS sectors will be equal to 160 – 2000 mega t of CO2. Annually, this would correspond to up to 5% of all emissions in the EU.

Researcher Tomi J Lindroos of the VTT predicts that the surplus will likely increase pressure to introduce stricter targets in future.

‘In the long term, we will face very strict targets, since the emission reduction objective by 2050 is 80 - 95%’, Lindroos commented.

Adapted from a press release by Emma McAleavey.

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