Photo via Greenpacks
Well, so much for the truckloads of naysayers that have lambasted the EU's carbon trading system over the years--Europe is set to easily meet the emissions reduction goals set by the Kyoto Protocol. You know, that treaty the US helped draft and then never signed, saying it would leave our economy in shambles and that it gave China unfair advantages? Yeah, that one. Europe has successfully cut emissions, grown its economy, and seen a huge surge in renewable energy development. Thanks in part to none other than a cap and trade system.Joe Romm at Climate Progress reports:
Europe made a major commitment under the Kyoto Protocol that U.S. conservatives have been telling us for years it would never achieve. In fact, the Europeans are poised to surpass their targets under the terms of the Protocol. It is no longer plausible for those who don't want a U.S. cap-and-trade system to point to the European Trading System (ETS) as a failure. Quite the reverse.Indeed. The news from the European Environment Agency is hugely positive today. It notes that the Protocol treaty "requires that the EU-15 reduce average emissions during 2008-2012 to 8% below 1990 levels." However, every nation that signed on, with the exception of Austria, is going even further than that. The report continues: "the latest projections indicate that the EU-15 will go further, reaching a total reduction of more than 13 % below the base year."
Some will inevitably say that the global recession simply forced Europeans to cut back on energy usage and consumption. But in truth, that's only a small part of the story. According to an Energy & Environment report, "E.U. emissions reductions far exceed our commitments. This is taking place without the full impact of the economic crisis yet being evident in the figures. This shows that considered policies and concrete measures are effective in the fight against climate change."
So what do we have here? Could it be proof that a cap and trade system is every bit capable of lowering carbon emissions? Looks to be the case to me. US, time to start taking notes . . .