Global temperature rises should be kept well below the European Union’s target of 2 degrees Celsius to avoid costly damage to people and their lifestyles, according to a new European Parliament report.

European consumers must be given better information about the “carbon footprint” of goods they buy, including products imported from outside the 27-nation bloc, it added.

The report by German conservative Karl-Heinz Florenz, to be debated today, goes further than what the EU has already pledged by saying it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth by 2020 from 1990 levels to combat global warming.

“All efforts to curb emissions should in fact aim at staying well below the 2 degrees target, as such a level of warming would already heavily impact on our society and individual lifestyles,” Florenz wrote.

“The window of opportunity for starting the mitigation efforts needed to achieve the 2 degree target will close by the middle of next decade,” he added.

The clock is ticking…