Stavros Dimas, the European Union’s environment commissioner, said on Friday that E.U. nations covered by the Kyoto climate treaty were on track to exceed a collective goal to slash emissions by 8 percent by 2012 compared with 1990 levels.
“We are sure that we are going to overshoot” the target, Mr. Dimas told a press conference in Brussels. The results showed a third consecutive year of declines and was further evidence that Europe was successfully decoupling its economic growth from emissions growth, he said.
However, "Mr. Dimas acknowledged that much of the drop in 2007 was attributable to favorable weather conditions...." "That [Emissions Trading] system showed a sharp drop in emissions last year compared with 2007 – largely because of the economic downturn. On the one hand, EU countries have been "decoupling its economic growth from emissions growth" by participating in Kyoto, with progressive tax policies, and their cap and trade system. On the other hand, however, until this year it seemed that these policies alone were not going to lead to fulfilling Kyoto goals and nobody seemed to care either. Ironically, now it seems that they will "overshoot the target".