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Why the EU could and should adopt higher greenhouse gas reduction targets

A literature review

Should the EU adopt more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets? Recently, from different perspectives, a large number of studies concluded that such higher emission reduction targets are desirable, feasible or necessary. This study reviews recent research and tries to answer the question how to make the EU's GHG reduction target consistent with its goal of limiting the increase in global temperature to below 2º C above pre-industrial levels. The study concludes that the present target of -20% is insufficient to limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2º C and falls behind the emissions pledges of other countries. The study estimates that the costs of a higher reduction target have fallen considerably due to the economic crisis. Moreover, if the current policy target of -20% is to be maintained, EU climate policies will be undermined and become inconsistent.

Authors CE

Sander de Bruyn

Delft, March 2010


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