Moving to the higher target would cost about €81bn (£68.4bn) a year by 2020, or 0.54% of GDP, according to the European commission\’s research, compared with a cost of €48bn for the 20% goal. But the move would quickly yield benefits including more green jobs, better health outcomes from less air pollution, and would make reducing emissions beyond 2020 much easier.
Though Hedegaard stopped short of recommending the higher target, the analysis was seized on by Chris Huhne, secretary of state for energy and climate change, who gathered the support of his French and German counterparts and a large coalition of businesses and investors to push the commission to the 30% goal. They argued that it would give European industry a headstart in its race with China to dominate the rapidly growing global market for low-carbon technology.
By providing a stronger signal on emissions, it would also help companies to avoid the problem of stranded assets, whereby long-term investments made now in high-emitting technology, such as gas-fired power stations, could become obsolete decades before their intended lifecycle was up.
How does reducing the emissions limit reduce the problems of emissions from plant we\’ve already built, those stranded assets?
It increases it, surely?