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The European Union challenge: integration of energy, climate, and economic policy


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The European Union (EU), the largest economy in the world, has binding sustainable energy and climate goals for the year 2020. The EU has recently presented a vision of a low-carbon Europe in 2050, which requires the cutting of carbon emissions by over 80%. This will necessitate increased technology development and market deployment efforts in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean energy. In addition, such plans need to pay attention to the uneven financial capabilities of the 27 EU member states to undertake such ambitious climate measures. To reach acceptable levels of carbon emissions on a global scale, compensating for economic asymmetries worldwide may require a considerably higher input from Europe as well. The co-benefits of a proactive European climate policy may be considerable, in particular for economic growth. Achieving these benefits will require greater integration of energy and climate and economic policy, which could form the basis of a green economy in Europe.

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