Tougher EU climate goal could boost GDP - study

Mon Feb 21, 2011 6:19pm GMT

* Emissions cut of 30 percent vs 1990 would add to growth

* GDP growth up 0.6 percent/yr with tougher goal -study

By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent

OSLO, Feb 21 (Reuters) - A tougher European Union goal for cutting greenhouse gas emissions could create jobs and boost economic growth by 2020, rather than slow it down as many EU governments fear, a study said on Monday.

A shift to emissions cuts of 30 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, from the EU's existing 20 percent target, would help spur innovation and investment in a low-carbon economy after the financial crisis, it said.

"Post-crisis Europe can revitalize its economy by tackling the climate challenge," according to the study, led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and commissioned by the German Environment Ministry.

It said a 30 percent cut could boost EU gross domestic product (GDP) growth by 0.6 percent a year, create up to 6 million extra jobs in Europe by 2020 and increase European investments from 18 percent of GDP to up to 22 percent.

By 2020, that would increase European GDP by 620 billion euros ($847.4 billion), or by 6 percent above business as usual trends, it said.   Continued...

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