photo via flickr
There's a lot of grim climate news, of course, but the EU keeps moving forward. On Friday, the European Commission announced that the EU, which is made up 27 member countries, is on track to meet its goal of generating 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020. The Commission also says the EU will meet its other two goals of increasing energy efficiency by 20 percent and decreasing emissions by 20 percent of 1990 levels.From EE news (password required):
European nations have wrestled with its "Europe 2020 Strategy," which establishes 20 percent targets for renewable energy production, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reductions. The bloc agreed in 2008 to slash emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. In the hope of pulling the international community toward more aggressive climate policies, E.U. officials at the United Nations' global climate meeting in Copenhagen in December said Europe would promise a 30 percent reduction if other major emitters made a similar promise. So far, that proposal hasn't had that intended consequence as America and China struggle for leverage in future climate talks.
Twelve members of the European bloc say they will meet their renewable energy targets by developing domestic resources. Ten countries -- Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden -- expect to exceed negotiated renewable energy targets. Five countries will have to import renewable power to meet their targets.
Austria, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Portugal and Sweden each will generate more than 30 percent of their total power supply from renewable energy.
The progress strengths the EU's hand at the international climate negotiations, which will continue this year, capped off by the next Conference of the Parties in Cancun in November. The EU, long a climate leader at the negotiations, was sidelined this year at Copenhagen after the US and China entered into high stakes bi-lateral talks and the world saw the rise of the so-called BASIC block, comprised of Brazil, South Africa, India and China. The next head of the UN Climate program is also not expected to be a European after Yvo de Boer announced he was stepping down.