By the Numbers: The EU Emissions Plan


How much does it cost to save the world? If you live in the EU it’ll run you about €3 ($4.36) a week according to the new emissions targets the European Commission has proposed. EC President José Manuel Barroso told the European Parliament that at an estimated €60 billion ($80 billion) a year until 2020 the plan is “a real commitment, but not a bad deal.”

The EC’s overall goal is to reduce the Union’s carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020 from 1990 levels, and currently, Europe generates about 8.5 percent of its power from renewable sources. To balance this onerous task across the 27 diverse and disparate EU member states, the EC has announced nation-specific emissions reduction targets as well as renewable energy production targets. Check out our good lookin’ graph of the country-by-country emissions and renewables targets:

EU Numbers

As you can see, many of the ex-Soviet Bloc countries get to actually pollute more, Sweden and Latvia are pumping out the most green power, while the UK and France could offer the best bets for European cleantech investments between now and 2020. Divvying up the burden of emissions reductions has created a bit of turbulence but points to very country specific cleantech opportunities for emission reduction technologies and renewable power generation companies to seek big government contracts.

Beyond biofuels and carbon trading, Europe’s future is in massive utility-level renewable power which means big offshore wind projects, growing solar arrays, and continued research into tidal power.



Green energy is definitely the best solution in most cases. Technology like solar energy, wind power, fuel cells, zaps electric vehicles, EV hybrids, etc have come so far recently. Green energy even costs way less than oil and gas in many cases.

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