Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage Page: 7
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national or European level. Calibrating the tax system for fuels or products to reflect the CO2
component is one of the options some Member States already apply, for instance to exploit
the large reduction potential in heating, reduce the carbon intensity of the car fleet, and
increase transport efficiency. The analysis indicates that this could make an important
contribution to meet stepped up targets, and, depending on the level and the application range,
generate considerable revenues for Member States, which could be used for low carbon
investments in order to create local green jobs, and allow for "greener" public procurement,
such as provided for by the Directive on the Promotion of Clean and Energy Efficient Road
Using EUpolicies to drive emission reductions
The EU could continue to encourage Member States, regions and cities to step up low-carbon
investment by directing a greater volume of cohesion policy funding towards green
investments. This would accelerate the existing trend to use cohesion funds more effectively
to boost renewable energy, energy efficiency, and the promotion of public transport. It would
also provide an alternative to the use of surplus Assigned Amount Units (AAUs) as a source
of funding, which undermines the environmental integrity of the carbon market.
Significant energy saving possibilities remain unused due to many market and regulatory
barriers. An enhanced energy efficiency policy framework would make an important
contribution to move beyond the 20%.
Land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) activities were not included in the 2008
climate and energy package, but have potential for additional emission reductions. Also
maintaining and restoring natural carbon sinks is necessary to avoid further emission
increases. Today, uncertainties in calculation'7 and volatility'8make short term predictability
of LULUCF activities - and their contribution to EU targets - difficult to assess. However, as
the work continues to establish effective rules to govern these activities, they could over time
provide a growing contribution to the mitigation effort through improved cultivation methods
and forestry management. The Common Agricultural Policy could incentivise farmers and
foresters to move towards more sustainable practices and make a greater contribution to
emission reductions over time.
Using the leverage of international credits
The EU was first in recognising that efforts made outside its borders can stimulate private
sector action. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has led to several thousand
projects worldwide, often making very cost effective reductions. But such initiatives now
seem more appropriate for action by emerging economies themselves, and a generous and
prolonged stream of such low-cost reductions into the EU ETS slows down innovation in the
16 Directive 2009/33/EC.
17 e.g. because of lack of data or of agreed measuring techniques for carbon in forest and agricultural soils.
18 Due to a large impact of variable weather conditions (e.g. storms affecting the standing stock of
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European Commission. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Analysis of options to move beyond 20% greenhouse gas emission reductions and assessing the risk of carbon leakage, text, 2010; Brussels, Belgium. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29354/m1/8/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .