Ambitious EU Climate Efforts Could Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Rest of the World


The more the EU economy succeeds in dialing down greenhouse gas emissions, the more the rest of the world will turn them up – unless a similar level of green ambitions is shared by others.

Up to 61.5% of the saved EU emissions could end up as increased emissions elsewhere in the world. The outcome is described in a new policy brief prepared by economists at the University of Copenhagen.

The EU has an ambition of being climate neutral in 2050. It is hoped that this can be achieved through a green transition in the energy sector and CO2-intensive industries, as well as through altered consumer behavior such as food habits and travel demands among the EU population. However, should the EU implement its most ambitious decarbonization agenda, while the rest of the world continues with the status quo, non-EU nations will end up emitting more greenhouse gases, thereby significantly offsetting the reductions of EU emissions. This is the conclusion of a new policy brief prepared by economics experts at the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Food and Resource Economics.

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