European countries are struggling with the Paris AgreementMarch 31, 2017
Only three countries are on track to comply with the Paris Agreement
Sweden, Germany, and France are the only European countries that are pursuing policies that will allow them to meet the commitments they made through the Paris Agreement, according to a recent study from the EU Climate Leadership Board. The European Union, as a whole, has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. Some countries seem to be taking this pledge more seriously than others, however, which could lead the region to mission its emissions reduction targets entirely.
Countries seem to be relying on loopholes to avoid environmental commitments
Some European countries are relying heavily on credits they receive from making modest efforts to offset emissions production. In some parts of Europe, planting trees provides carbon credits, which helps nations avoid certain regulations regarding the amount of emissions produced. Whatever impact these efforts have on emissions production is negated by the fact that these trees are sometimes cleared and burned. European countries are also using legal loopholes in order to benefit financially from carbon reduction projects while not working to meet their own emissions obligations.
Loopholes have created problems for Europe’s climate issues
When all factors are taken into account, the study suggests that only Sweden is making any progress in achieving the goals set out by the Paris Agreement. Both Germany and France follow closely behind. The study calls into question whether or not countries are genuinely committed to address emissions and the overarching issue of climate change. While several European politicians have expressed willingness to fight climate change, but relatively little is being done in order to do so.
Amount of work needed to combat climate change may have been underestimated
One of the problems is that European countries may have been unprepared for the amount of work that would need to be done to combat climate change. Complying with the Paris Agreement in the time allotted would be an extremely expensive endeavor and the time frame allows for little error. The sheer amount of work that would need to be done to curb emissions production in a very short span of time has left some politicians baffled as to how to effectively combat climate change.