Dec 02, 2009

New Report Shows EU Can Double its Emissions Targets

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:01 PM

A new report by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Friends of the Earth Europe shows that Europe can and must cut its emissions by 40% in 2020 and 90% in 2050.

40 percentJust a week ahead of the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, a new study released Tuesday, December 2nd by the Stockholm Environment Institute in partnership with Friends of the Earth Europe proves for the first time that Europe could double its greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2020.


The report, titled ‘Europe’s Share of the Climate Challenge: Domestic Actions and International Obligations to Protect the Planet,' shows how Europe can cut its emissions by 40% in 2020, and by 90% in 2050 compared to 1990 levels.  Europe is currently only aiming for half of those reductions.


Magda Stoczkiewicz, director of Friends of the Earth Europe said: “This study proves that it is possible for Europe to deliver its fair share of necessary global emission cuts. A 40% cut by 2020 in Europe is feasible and affordable, and it can be done without resorting to dangerous or unproven solutions.  The EU can make these cuts in a way which not only improves the quality of life for people in Europe, but also ensures the rights of poorer parts of the world to develop sustainably.”


The study also shows that drastic cuts by the EU will not be enough and that the EU and other countries must support the developing world's climate challenge.  It suggests that the EU should contribute between €150 and €450 billion per year to developing countries, or less than €3 per person per day.  Only the combination of a reduction in emissions by the EU as well as the provision of adequate finances for the EU will be enough to fight climate change.


Dr. Charles Heaps of the Stockholm Environment Institute, lead author of the report and a senior scientist in SEI’s climate and energy program, said: “Our analysis shows that deep cuts in emissions can be achieved in Europe at reasonable cost between now and 2050.  The scale and speed of changes required may seem daunting...but the potential costs of inaction are so large that doing nothing presents a far more implausible and dangerous future pathway for Europe.”


Read the full report here.

Letter from Australia

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:00 PM

Eastern Australia recently experienced a heatwave which smashed temperature records for November. I live in a bushfire prone area. I used to think my house was pretty safe from bushfires, but no longer.  Without strong and immediate action on climate change the Blue Mountains will experience frequent days of Extreme and Catastrophic bushfire danger (these are the official fire danger ratings - not alarmist rhetoric). Not only would catastrophic bushfires destroy many homes (including those previously considered safe from bushfires), but they would devastate the unique and diverse ecosystems which resulted in World Heritage listing for the Greater Blue Mountains.

When you are deciding on climate change action at Copenhagen, I want you to think of my four children who pack their "fire bags" every time the fire danger rating reaches Extreme. Will they need to leave their bags permanently packed in 2020, 2030, 2050.... or will they feel secure in the knowledge that global leaders have done everything in their power to avert climate catastrophe?

Sue Morrison
Blue Mountains, Australia

Yakuts of Siberia and Climate Change

by Krista Stryker — last modified Dec 02, 2009 05:06 PM

Video by Sanna Liinamaa