March 27, 2007 / 7:11 AM / 12 years ago

EU climate goals could cost 1.1 trillion euros: study

BERLIN (Reuters) - A European Union target to slash greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020 could cost the bloc up to 1.1 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion), according to a new study by consulting group McKinsey & Co.

The study, entitled “A cost curve for greenhouse gas reduction,” was described in the Tuesday edition of Germany daily Die Welt.

“We expect, based on a well-balanced, sensible use of available environmental protection technologies, annual costs of between 60 and 80 billion euros out to the year 2020,” the newspaper quoted McKinsey energy expert Thomas Vahlenkamp as saying.

That would result in total costs of between 800 billion to 1.1 trillion euros over the next 14 years.

EU leaders agreed at a summit in Brussels in early March to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that have been blamed for global warming by 20 percent by 2020 and by 30 percent if other big polluters outside the bloc join in.

The 27-nation club also plans to increase renewable energy sources, but has yet to address the sticky issue of how these goals would be divided up between the member states.

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