Europe A leading power in climate protection

Under the German European Union (EU) presidency (German Government, 2007), in March 2007 the EU heads of state and government adopted a far-reaching and, in fact, historic decision on future climate policy: by 2020, EU greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by 20 per cent below their 1990 level, and even by 30 per cent if other industrialized countries adopt similarly ambitious targets and newly industrializing countries contribute adequately.

To achieve this target the EU has decided that by 2020, 20 per cent of Europe's energy consumption will be covered by climate-friendly renewable energies, with biofuels having at least a 10 per cent share in petrol and diesel. At the same time, energy efficiency will be increased in order to achieve the objective of saving 20 per cent of the EU's energy consumption compared to projections for 2020. As a long-term objective, the European Council has specified a 60 to 80 per cent reduction of greenhouse gases in Europe by 2050 compared to 1990.

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