(BONN)

The European Union (EU) is on target to meet its upcoming emission targets, a new report released today shows.

Between 1990 and 2016, the EU cut greenhouse emissions by 23%, growing the economy by 53% at the same time, according to the report: two years after Paris – Progress towards meeting the EU’s climate commitments. And innovation was cited as the main driver.

“Lower emission intensity of the economy is mainly driven by innovation. Innovation includes not only using low-carbon technologies such as renewable energy but also raising productivity, for instance through more efficient power plants and cars,” the report states.

The report also says the EU is on course to meet its short-term emission targets.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “Two years after the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the EU remains fully committed to reducing its domestic emissions by at least 40% between 1990 and 2030. We are on track to meet our 2020 target and close to finalising our climate legislation for the next decade. Our emissions decline while the economy grows, largely thanks to innovative technologies, showing that growth and climate action can go hand in hand. However, there are still challenges ahead, as transport emissions in the EU continue to grow. This is why the Commission will present tomorrow measures to slash emissions from cars and vans in the decade starting 2021.”

This is one of a number of breaking stories coming out of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP23). Innovators Magazine is a media partner for COP23, being held in Bonn, which started yesterday and continues until 17 November. It will form a large part of the coverage on these pages over the next 10 days or so.