New Legislation Needed Now to Meet EU 2050 Climate Commitment

By Ewea, PRNE
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

BRUSSELS, March 16, 2011 - The EU must put extra legislation in place in the lifetime of
the current European Commission if it is to meet its commitment to cut
domestic carbon emissions by 80-95% by 2050, warned the European Wind Energy
Association (EWEA).

Last week the European Commission released its 'Roadmap to a low carbon
society' which outlined the need for a "fully decarbonised power sector" by
2050. But the need for action is much more immediate than EU leaders realise.

Since the transport and agriculture sectors will still emit carbon in
2050, the power sector must be at zero carbon by then, and this requires
immediate action, said Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA. His comments came on the
day of a debate with EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard during
the EWEA 2011 Annual Event in Brussels.

"Because fossil fuel power plants run for 30 to 45 years, investment
decisions taken today will determine our energy mix and carbon emissions in
2050", he said. "This means that to achieve a carbon-free power sector by
2050, in theory no new carbon-emitting power plants ought to be built after

EWEA proposes in its new report, "EU Energy Policy to 2050": A binding
"Emissions Performance Standard" (EPS) to limit carbon emissions on new power
plants from 2015, starting at 350g/KWh - the emissions of a gas plant - and
going down over time to encourage technological progress. Reducing Europe's
domestic emissions by 30% by 2020 instead of the current 20% target, which
includes reductions outside the EU. Setting domestic emissions reduction
targets for 2030, 2040 and 2050, taking the power sector to zero carbon by
2050, as well as a 2030 renewable energy target. Higher emission reduction
targets would also help tighten up the Emissions Trading System and make it
more efficient. "Europe needs to agree new policies and targets now for the
period after 2020 to achieve the 80-95% emissions reduction it has committed
itself to," said Kjaer. "EWEA believes a more ambitious emissions reduction
target for 2020, alongside additional goals for 2030 and 2040, an Emissions
Performance Standard and a new renewable energy target for 2030, can drive
the 'revolution in energy systems' which EU Heads of State recently
acknowledged is necessary."

EWEA believes that wind energy alone could provide 50% of the EU's power
demand by 2050, with the other 50% coming from the many other renewable
energy technologies. Find out all about EWEA's vision up to 2050 in the new
issue of Wind Directions
(, published
today. Read EWEA's 2050 report

For more information contact: Peter Sennekamp, EWEA, peter.sennekamp at, +32-2-213-18-33

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