The European Commission has released a communication that analyses the economic and policy implications of the EU increasing its greenhouse gas emission reduction target to 30% (compared to those of 1990) instead of the current 20%.
The Communication, released by the newly formed Directorate General Climate Action under Commissioner Hedegaard, demonstrates the economic feasibility of reducing the EUís CO2 emissions from 20% to 30%. Whilst the initial financial investment required will be higher than that of a 20% reduction, the Communication highlights that the cross-sector benefits would be substantial. These "co-benefits" are mainly presented in economic terms, but there is some acknowledgment of the wider socio-environmental gains Ė such as protection of ecosytems and public health.
The environment and health community has welcomed the Commissionís analysis, as it clearly demonstrates that the reduction of carbon emissions will lead to stronger reductions of other hazardous air pollutants. HEAL, alongside other health and environment professionals, have long advocated that as a significant reduction in CO2 emissions would dramatically limit the impacts on health, and could save between an estimated 3.5 and 7 billion.
Prior to the release of the Communication, the Climate Action Network held a press conference to emphasise the advantages of a 30% emissions reduction. Dr. Pendo Maro, HEAL and Health Care Without Harm Climate and Energy Policy Office was present to answer specific questions on health benefits of emission reductions and how industry puts profits above health. Pendoís statement is attached below.
For more information on climate change and health, please visit HEAL’s resource library.
Written on 30 June 2010.
Dr. Pendo Maro, Senior Climate Change and Energy Policy Advisor,
tel: 0032 2 234 3647