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Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050

With the "Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050" the European Commission presents for the first time a comprehensive, economy-wide vision for how Europe can carry out the transformation to a clean, competitive and climate-friendly society.

Based on robust economic modelling, the Roadmap shows how Europe can cut its domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by the middle of this century. Such a reduction is possible, if Europe further develops and invests in clean and energy-efficient technologies like as electric cars, passive housing, renewable energy and smart grids.

"The more factories, buildings and power plants we build without making the necessary improvements, the longer we will lock Europe onto a path of unsustainable growth. By turning onto a low carbon path now, we can reap the benefits of green growth." Connie Hedegaard

Making the transition to a low carbon society will give the EU economy a real boost. The demand for electric cars, energy-efficient industrial and power equipment as well as energy efficient building materials will drastically increase. This will generate growth and jobs for Europe's industries and environmental service providers.

By 2020, we could create 1.5 million new jobs if we step up our climate efforts. It requires massive investments in research and development as well as in infrastructure, and new standards must be adopted. But these investments will be largely compensated for by lower energy bills, better public transport and cleaner air.

By investing in clean and energy-efficient technologies Europe can reduce its energy consumption by 30% and save 400 billion every year on imports of oil and gas by the middle of this century.

Using more renewable energy will make us less dependent on energy imports from outside Europe and will improve the security of our energy supply. Our economies will become much less vulnerable to increasing oil prices.

"If we had more electric cars in our cities, we would have less air pollution, fewer children would get asthma, fewer would have to stay at home from work because they are feeling sick" Connie Hedegaard

The Roadmap also shows that the longer we wait, the more expensive it will get to make the transition. And the cheapest, or most cost-efficient, pathway requires a 40 % reduction of CO2 in 2030 and a 25 % reduction in 2020. The increased CO2 reduction in 2020, however, can be achieved through the measures outlined in the Energy Efficiency Plan that was adopted along with the 2050 Roadmap.

Combined, the Roadmap and the Energy Efficiency Plan provide a vision for a cleaner, climate-friendly Europe in the long term and some concrete measures that will put us on the right track from the beginning. By reducing our domestic emissions by 80%, Europe is contributing its fair share to limit global warming to 2°C – a concern and a responsibility that we share with all the citizens of the world.

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Last update: 04/11/2014 | Top