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Brussels set the end of the era of fossil fuels in Europe by 2050

The era of the combustion in Europe –in which the coal, oil and natural gas have been the engines of its thriving economy– has an expiration date: 2050. The Eur

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Brussels set the end of the era of fossil fuels in Europe by 2050

The era of the combustion in Europe –in which the coal, oil and natural gas have been the engines of its thriving economy– has an expiration date: 2050. The European Commission proposes that the greenhouse gas emissions in the EU will disappear by mid-century, which implies leaving aside those fossil fuels that have triggered the growth of the West since 1950. Brussels raises, among other issues, that 80% of the country's electricity from renewable in 2050, or to use the tax system to fight against the technologies more dirty. In exchange, the Commission defended the economic benefits of this transition for the EU.

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The UN warns that the country must triple its efforts to comply with the Paris Agreement The experts of the UN are urgent to take drastic action against climate change

The European Parliament urged a year ago to the Commission to present a strategy for the long journey to the European Union (EU) is free of these emissions by mid-century. And Brussels will present it this Wednesday. In the document, who has accessed THE COUNTRY, it is pointed out that the current policies of the EU only lead to reduce these emissions by 60% by 2050. "This is not enough for the EU to contribute to the objectives of the Paris Agreement," admits Brussels is in your document. There are necessary new policies and set a target of zero emissions by mid-century.

The Paris Agreement recognizes that it is already irreversible global warming, that the signatories comply with the increase of the temperature at the end of the century does not exceed a maximum increase of 1.5 to 2 degrees of increase. That is the margin to avoid the worst climatic disasters. Achieving that goal requires that all countries submit plans of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Europe in these moments accumulate the 10% of the global emissions.

More ambitious

The strategy of zero emissions in 2050 involves increasing european ambition in the war on warming; in 2009 the EU established a reduction by 2050 of 80% to 95% of their emissions. Among the reasons that the Commission is now raising efforts is the recent report of the IPCC –the scientific team that advises the UN, which urges countries to act at the risk of failure and do not comply with what was agreed in Paris in a few decades.

The Commission seeks to allay fears when he recalls that, in its strategy that it can grow economically and reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the same time. Europe has done: between 1990 and 2016, such emissions fell in the EU by 22% while the GDP grew 54%. With your proposal, Brussels is now sending a powerful political signal. Also for sectors such as energy or transport, with the automobile industry engaged in a technology race to adapt to a new model of transport.

In Betgram the document will impact on the benefits of this career long-haul. The overall economic impacts “are positive, despite the considerable additional investment that is required,” notes the Commission. According to the calculations of Brussels, the GDP will increase by an additional 2% with the policies of decarbonisation that will lead to the goal of zero emissions. And that's not counting the economic benefit that entails the eradication of damage caused by climate change, a recent official report from Brussels was 240,000 million euros per year if he fails the Paris Agreement.

But the good intentions that the Commission presents in this document are to be endorsed and practiced in a package of measures as broad as the one that already exists for the period from now until 2030.

Twenty-seven must still give the green light to this strategy. The predisposition seems to be favorable. The Environment ministers of a dozen States –among them Spain, France and Italy– signed two weeks ago a joint letter to commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, in which he urged him to be ambitious and meet the goal of zero emissions in 2050. However, countries such as Germany, the economic engine for europe, not have spoken about it.

premature Deaths

once you have the plan obtain the approval, the machinery community will be put in place to legislate, but with the goal of zero emissions in the horizon. The strategy for 2050 will be discussed also in the European Parliament today.

Arias Cañete highlighted that the plan, Brussels will also “reduce premature deaths from air pollution by more than 40%, and healthcare costs are feathered at 200,000 million euros per year.” The Commission calculations also predict a huge savings with the null dependence on oil imports: in total, between two and three trillion euros in 2030 to 2050.

The strategy of the Commission is explicit when it deals with the transformation of the electricity sector. The lowering of the costs of the renewable, has allowed a rapid deployment of these clean energies. For 2050, Brussels, recalls that “more than 80% of the electricity will come from renewable sources”. To this end, the Commission adds another 15% from nuclear power –that does not eject CO2, but that has other problems related to waste– to speak of a model of power generation 100% free of greenhouse gases. This roadmap assumes the closure of all coal-fired power plants and natural gas.

In the case of transport, where there are significant pressures from auto manufacturers, the Commission did not go so much. Although the document refers to the importance of the electrification of cars and trucks, do not close the door to "alternative fuels", such as biofuels. The document itself refers to the controversial technique of capture and storage of carbon dioxide, with a great social rejection. However, the Commission argues that its "deployment" is still "necessary". Brussels, in addition, it highlights the importance of using taxes and subsidies as an "efficient tool for the environmental policy".

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