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Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy by 2050

Teacher Hans De Keulenaer, Ales Sinkovec


If global warming is to be held below 2°C compared to pre-industrial times, then all major economies will need to make deep emissions reductions. By 2050, the European Union could cut most of its greenhouse gas emissions. The European Commission has looked at cost-efficient ways to make the European economy more climate-friendly and less energy-consuming. With its Roadmap for moving to a competitive low-carbon economy in 2050, the European Commission has looked beyond short-term objectives and set out a cost-effective pathway for achieving much deeper emission cuts by the middle of the century.

The Roadmap is the main long-term policy initiative put forward to move the EU towards using resources in a sustainable way. It states that, by 2050, the EU should cut its emissions to 80% below 1990 levels through domestic reductions alone. It sets out milestones which form a cost-effective  pathway to this goal - reductions of 40% by 2030 and 60% by 2040. It also shows how the main sectors responsible for Europe's emissions - power generation, industry, transport, buildings and construction, as well as agriculture - can make the transition to a low-carbon economy most cost-effectively.

This transition would boost Europe's economy thanks to increased innovation and investment in clean technologies and low carbon energy. Energy efficiency will be another key driver of the transition. By moving to a low-carbon society, the EU could be using around 30% less energy in 2050 than in 2005. Households and businesses would enjoy more secure and efficient energy services.

Duration (hours)