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New energy technologies have the technical potential to reduce C02 emissions in Europe by 10-20% between 2010 and 2020. But the political will to make it happen is so weak that the European Union's current Thermie programme is unlikely to reduce emissions by more than 1.5%. What's more, continues a European Commission working paper produced for the EU's Environment Council, energy related C02 emissions are expected to actually increase by 5.8% over 1990 levels by the year 2000. The paper calls for a serious commitment to implementing a series of measures for reduction of C02 emissions, including more research and development into renewables. About half the cuts which are technically possible could come from the power generation sector if a switch was made to other fuels and if more cogeneration and renewables were used. The remaining cuts would come from energy saving, states the paper.

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