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Three years ago, at the United Nations COP 16 climate-change meeting in Cancun, countries agreed to reduce their emissions by 2020 to a point that would prevent the average global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Centigrade above pre-industrial levels.This is why I am calling on all governments to be more ambitious – to aim for zero net emissions from fossil fuels by the second half of this century. Nothing short of a wholesale transformation of the energy economy will suffice.Just last week, the European Commission unveiled new energy and climate targets for 2030 – calling for a 40 percent reduction in the bloc's greenhouse-gas emissions from 1990 levels, with 27 percent of energy to come from renewable sources. Two-thirds of electricity generation, and nearly 95 percent of the energy consumed by the world's transport systems, comes from fossil fuels.Even when appearing to support greener technologies, governments are prone to sudden changes in policy, sometimes retroactively, leaving businesses reluctant to commit to significant investments or even take official statements seriously at all.First, put a price on carbon.
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