Western Europe has done more to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the past three decades than any other region in the world. It has vastly expanded solar and wind power. It has introduced carbon taxes and other policies to increase the cost of dirty energy. In all, the European Union has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent since 1990, much more than the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, or other affluent countries. But Europe’s clean-energy progress has not protected the continent from the growing ravages of global warming. Europe is becoming another example of climate change’s unfair burden, at least relative to other rich countries that are responsible for large shares of historical emissions. Despite these reductions, Europe is turning into one of the world’s new climate hot spots.
By David Leonhardt. New York Times/The Morning. July 20, 2022.