Wind Wire: Target Approved

European leaders are urging developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 under a new climate change deal that will replace the Kyoto Treaty after 2012.

The target was agreed during a summit in Brussels at which the EU member state leaders signed off the EU's negotiating position for the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says the agreement of this target and other goals is an important breakthrough. He says: "We can look the rest of the world in their eyes and say we, Europeans, have done our job. We are ready for Copenhagen." The EU is right to be bullish about its ability to cut emissions, says the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA). In a briefing for ministers, EWEA says it expects wind energy to prevent the emission of 333 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2020 - equivalent to 29% of EU's current greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 20% by 2020. "The growing pessimism (about the prospect of) global action against climate change needs to be nipped in the bud," says Christian Kjaer, chief executive of EWEA. "The EU should go into Copenhagen confident that greenhouse gas emissions can be slashed rapidly, and that its own targets can be met and exceeded.