BRUSSELS, Nov 27 (Reuters) The 15 European Union countries that committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions collectively by 8 percent in 2008-2012 are on track to reach that goal provided they implement extra measures, the EU executive said today The European Commission said EU-15 emissions were projected to be down 7.4 percent in 2010 compared to base years -- usually 1990 -- set in the Kyoto Protocol on combating climate change.
Those projections, collected from EU governments, were based on current measures, the purchase of Kyoto credits, and plans to create ''carbon sinks'' through forests that soak up carbon dioxide (CO2), the main gas blamed for global warming.
The EU-15 would reach an 11.4 per cent reduction in 2010 -- further than the Kyoto goal -- if additional measures such as including aviation in the bloc's emissions trading scheme were put in place quickly.
''The latest projections show that the Kyoto target will be reached once the member states have adopted and implemented the additional actions now under discussion,'' Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in a statement.
''I therefore urge them to do this swiftly.'' Most other members of the 27-nation bloc also have goals to reduce emissions by 6 or 8 per cent compared to selected base years. Only Malta and Cyprus have no target. Countries that were not on track to meet their goals were identifying measures to do so, the Commission said.
The Commission said EU-15 emissions were projected to be down 4 percent in 2010, the middle of the Kyoto period, if only measures currently in place were included.
Planned investment in projects to reduce emissions in developing countries, which generates so-called Kyoto credits, along with forestry measures would lead to the projected 7.4 per cent fall.
The EU committed this year to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 levels. It will tout that goal, along with a pledge to increase it to a 30 per cent cut if other nations join in, at international talks on climate change in Indonesia next month.
The Commission said based on current projections, EU states would have to ''put emissions on a much steeper reduction path after 2012'' to meet the 2020 target.
REUTERS RJ VC1735