22 Jan. 2014 ‘Modest’ EU climate targets criticised Nature
Report by Quirin Schiermeier on the incompatibility of the EU Commission’s new 2030 decarbonisation target of 40% with the same Commission’s express commitment to make its fair contribution to avoiding the 2°C characterisation of dangerous climate change.
As the report concludes:
From a scientific viewpoint, the EU’s 2030 target would need to be nearer to 80% than to 40%, agrees Kevin Anderson, an energy and climate scientist at the University of Manchester, UK, and deputy director of Manchester’s Tyndall Centre.
Anderson has previously criticized the commission for misrepresenting probabilities — with “dramatic consequences for the necessary scale of mitigation” — of keeping atmospheric warming below 2 °C.
“Whilst political decisions are rightly the responsibility of politicians, it surely is incumbent on us as scientists to press hard for scientific consistency,” he says. “Scientific uncertainties notwithstanding, I am surprised that so few scientists have been prepared to voice their concerns about the sheer scale of the shortfall.”