We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The European Commission published a Communication this week setting out the new 2030 framework with the revised climate and energy targets for a competitive, secure and low-carbon EU economy. A binding reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40% below the 1990 level and an EU-wide binding target for renewable energy of at least 27% are the pillars of the updated framework. The Commission also suggested reforming the European Union Emission Trading System (ETS) with the establishment of a market stability reserve.
The JRC has significantly contributed to the new package and the accompanying Impact Assessment in particular. It for example analysed the broader economic impacts of the tighter reduction targets, using GEM-E3, the JRC general equilibrium model, covering the interactions between the economy, the energy system and the environment. The JRC demonstrated what the possible effects will be on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the sectorial activities, exports and imports, employment and private consumption of using different policy instruments to achieve different emission targets.
With a 40% reduction of GHG in 2030 and without other countries taking any action, the negative impacts on the GDP range from -0.45% to -0.10% in 2030, while the impact on employment ranges from -0.61% to +0.20%, depending on the choice of policy instruments, such as free allocation of permits, increasing use of auctioning in the ETS sectors or taxation in the non ETS sectors. A positive effect on employment is possible when the revenues of carbon taxation are used to reduce labour taxation, enhancing the competitiveness of EU companies.
The JRC moreover provided the reference assumptions for the energy technologies of the future energy system. Examples of such data were capital, operating and maintenance costs, and efficiencies, for the timeframe of 2010 to 2050. These input data were used in the energy system models to evaluate the various policy options described above.
In addition, in the Commission's Communication also refers to the JRC smart cities initiative which will support cities and regions in taking ambitious and pioneering measures towards a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 through sustainable use and production of energy.
The new climate and energy package sets out a smart and ambitious 2030 strategy that will contribute to Europe's share in global climate action, and will also help to reduce the EU's dependency on imports of gas and oil, to boost its green technology industry and sustainable growth. The 2030 policy framework builds on the 'climate and energy package' with the 20-20-20 targets: a 20% reduction of carbon emissions and energy consumption, and increasing the share of renewable energy by 20% by 2020.