Ministers from France, Germany and the UK are calling for the EU to cut its carbon emissions by 30% on 1990 levels by 2020, arguing that failure to reach the goal will have long-term economic consequences. The current target is a 20% reduction from 1990 levels.
The officials say increasing the target will help create jobs in clean energy sectors and help keep the EU competitive with China, Japan and the US, each of which is investing in green technology and sustainable energy. The US has set a goal of reducing 2005 greenhouse gas emissions 17% by 2020.
Renewable power sources such as wind and solar made for more than half of all new electricity capacity added in Europe and the US last year, according to a report from the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21).
This chart from the European Wind Energy Association that the EU as a whole has been on target to meet its 20% carbon emissions goal, though it might need to ramp things up to reach 30%:
(You can download the original PDF here.)
This is good news for green tech, and supported by the continued growth of sustainable energy investments worldwide, despite the economic downturn.
Update: Some European countries, including Germany and the UK, are raising aviation taxes in response to carbon emission control. Starting in November, Britain may charge a tax of up to £170 per person for long business class flights.