Nick Fetty | October 24, 2014
Officials with the European Union reached a deal early Friday to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the 28-country pact by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Additionally, the EU agreed to 27 percent targets for “renewable energy supply and efficiency gains” though some leaders questioned the cost effectiveness of this strategy. This builds upon the EU’s goals for 2020 which aimed for a 20 percent boost in renewables such as solar and wind as well as a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency.
These agreements come on the heels of an international environmental summit which will take place in Paris in November and December of 2015. The 28 countries that comprise the EU account for approximately 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. China produces the greatest amount of greenhouse gases of any single country at 23 percent while the United States accounts for 19 percent. Non-EU member countries such as China and the United States are expected to use these newly set EU goals as a measuring stick when drafting its own plans for reducing carbon emissions.
Earlier this year the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed nationwide goals for reducing greenhouse gases and utilizing more renewable energy in the U.S. by 2030, allowing each state to set and achieve its own goals. Iowa – which ranks second in the country for the amount of wind energy produced – is well on its way to meeting these goals.