EU - Climate Neutral by 2050?

Arno Froese

The European Union says it is aiming to become the first major economy to go “climate neutral” by 2050.

Under the plan, emissions of greenhouse gases after that date would have to be offset by planting trees or by burying the gases underground.

Scientists say that net-zero emissions by 2050 are needed to have a fighting chance of keeping global temperatures under 1.5C this century.

The EU says the move will also cut premature air pollution deaths by 40%.

Climate neutrality means your emissions are balanced by methods of removing warming gases from the atmosphere. So the warming emissions that are created by cars and power plants should be counteracted by the greenhouse gases removed from the air by the planting of new forests or through carbon capture technologies which would see the CO2 buried underground.

Getting to this point would require large cuts in emissions from the current position. Since 1990 the EU has cut its emissions by over 20% while the economies of member states have continued to grow.

The EU says that this can be done with existing technologies such as solar and wind energy which would have to be ramped up to provide 80% of electricity. Energy efficiency measures such as home insulation would also need to be boosted to reduce energy consumption by half by the middle of the century.

“With this plan, Europe will be the world’s first major economy to go for net-zero emissions by 2050,” said EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete. “We have all the tools to be ambitious.”

The EU believes that the measures will help achieve the goals of the Paris agreement will be expensive but will boost economies by 2% of GDP by 2050 and reduce energy imports by over 70%, saving up to three trillion euros a year.

Some countries such as Germany are struggling with their current commitments and are worried that further cuts would threaten their industries. Others such as Poland are still reliant on coal and would object to even more stringent restrictions on the use of fossil fuels.

Some countries though are keen to press ahead—a group of ten, including Denmark, Sweden and Spain have written a letter to the EU asking for a “clear direction” towards net-zero emissions.

Sweden has legislated to achieve net zero emissions by 2045. Other countries are looking at it, including the UK which has asked the Committee on Climate Change to report on the idea.

The EU says there needs to be a debate among member states about how to achieve this long term goal. The plan is to adopt and submit the ambitious strategy to the UN by early 2020., 28 November 2018

Arno's commentary

We have in the past commented on the environmental issue. It is our position that those who oppose the environmental agenda vastly exaggerate the actual issue, while those who support environmental issues do likewise.

Thus, the simple question: does modern industry contribute to global warming? The answer is simply yes. For example, when the temperature reaches 40 C (104 F), then the measurement in the countryside is definitely lower than in the city. Air conditioners are running, factories produce waste heat, even tar-based roads absorb and emit heat; that’s a fact that cannot be argued. However, we do not have long-term data (e.g. 500 or 1,000 years ago) to determine whether climate change took place during those days, when there was no modern industry.

What we do know is what Scripture says: “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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