Pushing for a low carbon EU by 2050
WWF advocates for EU policies to make the 2020 emission reduction targets more compatible with a climate safe future which requires stabilising global warming at 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.WWF advocates for the European Union to reclaim its international climate policy leadership by developing and promoting an economy-wide low carbon action plan that sets out the pathway to a low carbon society in the EU by 2050.
In addition, the EU will have to adjust its policies and measures – starting with the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which currently risks becoming a means of increasing rather than decreasing European industrial emissions.
The EU ETS must achieve adequate and cost-effective industrial greenhouse gas emission reductions, embedded in a healthy mix of complementary policy instruments.
WWF has historically supported the principle of carbon markets and emissions trading, but we now fear that the reputation and environmental effectiveness of the EU’s policy instrument is at stake, since no additional emissions reductions are needed until 2020 to achieve existing commitments. Due to low carbon prices and lack of scarcity of emission allowances in the market, the EU risks locking in high-carbon infrastructure and slowing down cleaner investments and progress towards a green and resource-efficient economy
Both short and long term measures are needed to rescue the EU ETS from redundancy. This requires a combination of emergency measures (such as backloading of emission allowances) and structural adjustments (such as a change of the linear reduction factor, and retirement of emission allowances) in order to keep the (often so-called) “flagship” climate policy instrument from sinking.
Sam Van Den Plas
Policy Officer, Climate & Energy
WWF European Policy Office
+32 2 740 09 32