Industry has praised the European Commission's Roadmap to turn the European Union into a competitive low carbon economy by 2050.
The strategy, launched yesterday, outlines the measures necessary to reach the EU’s objective of cutting carbon emissions by 80-95% of 1990 levels by 2050. It gives direction to sectoral policies, national and regional low-carbon strategies and long-term investments, to ensure goals are achieved in the most cost-effective way.
EEF’s head of climate and environment policy Gareth Stace, commented: “Now is not the time to focus on tightening top down carbon targets that must be met by the end of the decade, but to develop a strategy of what can be achieved in the short, medium and longer term. This should include a bottom up assessment of where significant cuts in emissions can be made at least cost and maximum benefit to the European economy.
“We need a framework that will build a strong manufacturing base in Europe, with energy-intensive industries playing their full part. This will help ensure we deliver a low carbon economy designed and built in Europe.”
Connie Hedegaard, European commissioner for climate action, said: ”We need to start the transition towards a competitive low carbon economy now. The longer we wait, the higher the cost will be. As oil prices keep rising, Europe is paying more every year for its energy bill and becoming more vulnerable to price shocks. So starting the transition now will pay off. And the good news is we don’t need to wait for technological breakthroughs. The low carbon economy can be built by further developing proven technologies that already exist today. In this transition, all economic sectors need to contribute, including agriculture, construction and transport.”
Stace also urged Government to “demonstrate to industry that it has a vision for marrying its climate change objectives with the need to create jobs and promote growth.”