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EU eyes 40% emission reduction target by 2030

By John Parnell 

The EU will increase its emissions reduction target to 40% by 2030, if a draft document by the European Commission is made law.

The current target of 20% by 2020 has been derided as unambitious with current policies thought to comfortably take the 27 member bloc beyond that benchmark.

In September last year French President Francois Hollande called for a 40% target for 2030, in line with the draft uncovered today.

The paper also places Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology at the heart of future EU energy policy.

“In order to allow fossil fuels to remain an integral part of the energy mix and the EU to offer a potential for a green re-industrialization of Europe’s declining industries, early deployment of CCS technology at a large scale is needed,” reads the document, which was obtained by Bloomberg.

The paper, which remains subject to change prior to its publication later this month, notes that the current low price of carbon allowances in the EU would not be sufficient to make CCS economic.

A number of national and EU-led funding rounds have been hit by delays with some oil and gas companies becoming jittery about funding the nascent technology alone.

All the UK entries from the EU’s flagship NER300 competition for CCS seed funding were rejected as the UK government could not provide sufficient guarantees that it would provide its share of the finances for any prospective winner.

Capturing CO2 from biomass power stations has been mooted as a “carbon negative” solution that could lower atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

The vegetation would suck CO2 out of the atmosphere during its growth. It would then be locked into a long term store, most likely in rock formation.

CCS has also been presented as the best way to limit the damage done by China’s coal habit.

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