Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment
Research School for Socio-Economic and
Natural Sciences of the Environment

Climate experts WUR: European Union finally has incisive, green ambitions

In a reaction on the European State of the Union, three Wageningen University & Research climate experts praise the EU for making its green ambitions for 2030 even more incisive. In the State of the Union, held by EU-president Ursula von der Leyen, the current state of affairs and ambitions of the EU are laid down. One of the most notable ambitions is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030, 15% more than the current goal.

According to Rik Leemans, professor of Environmental System Analytics, it was already clear in the early 1990s that the emissions of CO2 needed to be slashed in half to combat climate change. ‘Since then, global CO2 emissions have increased tenfold. The UN climate treaty of 1992 stipulated that greenhouse gas emissions must be stabilised to the degree that prevents hazardous human interference in the climate system.’

Paris agreement

World leaders agreed in Paris in 2015 that a global temperature increase of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celcius is likely harmless, and must, therefore, not be exceeded. All countries agreed to reduce their emissions. Leemans: ‘Recently, my research group calculated that these agreements lead to a 3.5-degree rise in temperature, and certainly not to the desired maximum of 2°C. New international goals and agreements are urgently needed, in particular as governments, despite the ambitious start in the period of 1990-1997 (Kyoto protocol), have failed to reduce global emissions.’

Postponing promises and measures to reach CO2-neutrality on a global scale, is not helping, says Leemans. ‘Traditional approaches don’t appear to be working. Hopefully, the new EU Green Deal will inspire citizens, cities, countries, banks and businesses to develop fresh new initiatives.’

> Read the whole article: https://www.wur.nl/en/news-wur/Show/Climate-experts-WUR-European-Union-finally-has-incisive-green-ambitions.htm

Thursday 24 September 2020