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Updated: July 2012

On January 2011, the EC presented "A resource-efficient Europe", a flagship initiative of the Europe 2020 Strategy. It provides a kind of framework for development of long-term policy plans (2050 roadmaps) in the areas of transport, energy, and resource use.

On 8th March 2011 the EC presented a Roadmap for a Low Carbon Economy by 2050 for possible action up to 2050 which could enable Europe achieve 80-95% greenhouse gas reductions by 2050 compared to 1990 level. This follows the recommendation of the IPPC on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions for developed countries.

To make such a transition the EU would need to invest an additional €270 billion or 1.5% of its GDP annually, on average, over the next four decades. Investments will boost growth in environmental services and the manufacturing sector and 1.5 million additional jobs could be created by 2020.

The investments in renewable energy will foster the use of local renewable energy resources that will allow the EU countries to save € 175 - 320 billion annually on fuel costs over the next forty years. This will pay back the investments in the transition.

Energy efficiency will be the key driver of this transition, making households and business reduce their energy consumption 30% below 2005 levels by 2050.

Electric and hybrid cars together with the use of clean technologies would drastically reduce the air pollution, and fewer people will suffer respiratory diseases. Less money will be needed to invest in health care and pollution control, and by 2050 EU could save up to 88 billion a year, in addition to the direct savings on fuels.

On 28 March 2011 the EC launched the Transport White Paper towards a, where the EC examines the challenges to and propose a list of initiatives for a competitive and resource efficient transport system, in order to achieve the 60% greenhouse gas reduction target proposed by the EC for the transport sector by 2050.

On 20 September 2011 the EC published the Resource Efficiency Roadmap 2050 that proposes ways to increase resource productivity and decouple economic growth from resource use and its environmental impact. It has a special focus on policy action and proposes measures for the nutrition, housing and mobility sectors, responsible for most environmental impacts.

On 15 December 2011, the EC adopted the Communication "Energy Roadmap 2050" where it explores the challenges on the delivering of the EU's decarbonisation objective while at the same time ensuring security of energy supply and competitiveness.

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