Commission climate paper – Europe can save billions in fuel costs

Press release - January 30, 2012
The European Commission today set out how Europe could increase its climate ambition, presenting a series of pathways to further reduce carbon emissions by 2020.

Raising a Wind Turbine in Durban


The Commission working paper [1] outlines options to raise Europe’s carbon reductions from 20 to 30 percent, while also rescuing Europe’s ailing carbon market [2]. The paper also suggests ways to make it easier for Central and Eastern European countries to reform their carbon intensive industries.

Greenpeace welcomed the proposals, which could lead to a surge of green investment and strengthen European economies by saving an average of €20 billion a year in fuel costs between 2016 and 2020. Support for Central and Eastern European climate action is essential if Europe as a whole is to re-energise its climate fight, Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser Joris den Blanken said: “Last year saw massive flooding and wildfires punishing lives and costing hundreds of billions of euros. Europe cannot continue coasting towards a cushy climate target. It needs to do more and today’s move could hold the key to just that. This is also an opportunity to cut out ruinous fuel costs that are sapping our economic strength.”

Rescuing Europe’s carbon market would incentivise investment in clean energy and other technologies, said Greenpeace.

Europe’s environment ministers will discuss the EU’s climate ambition and carbon market on 9 March.


For more information, please see a two-page analysis of the Commission report by Greenpeace, WWF and Climate Action Network Europe.

[1] Commission staff working paper Analysis of options to move beyond 20 percent GHG emission reductions: member state results.
[2] The EU carbon price reached a record low of €6.58 per tonne of CO2 in mid-December 2011. In 2008, the European Commission projected a carbon price of €39 per tonne by 2020.

Greenpeace EU climate policy adviser Joris den Blanken +32 476961375
Greenpeace EU communications officer Jack Hunter +32 476988584

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Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace. Greenpeace does not accept donations from governments, the EU, businesses or political parties.