March 24, 2008

EU Spring Summit:Climate Change Reaction

The spring 2007 European Council meeting of Member State leaders established the 20-20-20 climate change objectives: a 20% cut in CO2 emissions, a 20% increase in energy efficiency and 20% renewables usage in energy production (including 10% biofuels) by 2020. This years summit seems to have reined in that apparent enthusiasm.

National leaders expressed concerns and doubts about areas including the commitment to a 10% reduction of energy consumption by public administrations; the scale of renewables uptake envisaged by the Commission; and the impact of converting farmland to biofuel energy use. Other areas of ongoing disagreement include the revision of the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) and burden-sharing for the sectors it does not cover, auctioning of energy sector allowances, and how energy-intensive industries may fare in the face of competition from countries not subject to strict environmental standards in the absence of an international agreement. The conclusions have met with a lukewarm response in places with environmental groups expressing disappointment at a perceived lack of ambition and a failure to stand up to heavy industry pressure. In particular, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has accuses leaders of reverting to an over- emphasis on the need to analyse the economic impacts of climate protection on large polluters and of laying open the possible exemption of certain industrial sectors from the ETS 'polluter pays' principle without supporting the potential for innovation, jobs and trade opportunities that measures to reverse climate change could deliver. Further details from: http://www.wwf.org.uk/news/n_0000004923.asp

Posted by iroronan at March 24, 2008 09:34 AM

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