European Union leaders announced on Thursday that they had agreed to cut emissions by at least 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the European Council, made the announcement on Twitter, saying the agreement marked the "world's most ambitious, cost effective, fair climate energy policy."
The AP reports:
"The deal is aimed at countering climate change and setting an example for the rest of the world ahead of key international climate negotiations next year.
"A package agreed by leaders at an EU summit in the early hours of Friday after lengthy negotiations also requires climate-friendly, renewable energy to provide at least 27 percent of the bloc's needs and demands that energy efficiency increase by at least 27 percent in the next 16 years."
"... environmentalists had already complained that it could still leave the EU struggling to make the at least 80-percent cut by 2050 that its own experts say is needed to limit the rise in global average temperatures to two degrees Celsius.
"And they were further disappointed by a softening in the final agreement of goals for increasing the use of solar, wind and other renewable energy sources and for improving efficiency through insulation, cleaner engines and the like."