Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

EU climate plans threatened as nations look to help industry

by Staff Writers
Luxembourg (AFP) Oct 20, 2008
European Union environment ministers vowed Monday to respect the bloc's targets for fighting climate change even as nations sought protection for industries hit by the global financial crisis.

Italy, whose Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened last week to veto the plans, led calls for significant changes to be made and demanded a review mechanism, saying it was not the only nation ready to take a stand.

"We can underline the strong willingness from the EU states to intensify their work to reach an accord" in December, French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said after chairing environment talks in Luxembourg

"The financial crisis does not stop climate change," he said.

Borloo later told AFP that the talks had produced a "robust negotiating position for Poznan," in Poland, where world governments are to meet to discuss global warming in December.

Last year, the EU vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, in an effort to halt global warming. It also pledged to have renewable energies make up 20 percent of all energy sources.

In order to achieve these overall targets, heavy industry -- which produces 40 percent of the EU's greenhouse gases -- would have to cut its CO2 emissions by 21 percent from 2005 levels.

Other goals are fixed for transport, agriculture and other sectors.

But Italian Environment Minister Stefania Prestigiacomo said: "The package as it stands right now is not suitable. It is untenable. Significant changes are needed."

"We are not the only ones to take this position," she said.

"We demand a review clause. We hope now that real negotiations will be opened. We've come with good intentions. We are going to ask for many modifications and we hope they will be taken into account," she said.

On Saturday, Italian news agency ANSA said Rome could approve the plan if it includes a clause allowing for its revision following a cost-efficiency report to be produced in 2009.

On Friday, the head of the UN climate change body warned that the EU would send a dangerous signal if it failed to meet the December deadline.

EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas also opposed any backsliding.

"The package demonstrates Europe's leadership in tackling climate change by setting an example," he said Monday. "The approval of the package will strengthen our hands during the international negotiations."

But Italy and Poland threatened at a summit last week to veto the project -- which was due to be sealed in December -- as the financial crisis bites and with relatively poor ex-communist countries dependent on coal for energy.

The three Baltic states, along with Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia also raised objections, while Germany is taking a tough stance in defence of its automobile industry, according to officials.

Poland vowed to use its veto to resist any attempt to railroad through the targets, which must be approved by the European Parliament.

In the end, Rome and Warsaw persuaded their EU partners to only adopt the package at the next EU summit in mid-December by a unanimous -- rather than majority -- vote; a clear threat to the bloc's ambitious plans.

Italy suspects the plan would cost its economy around 25 billion euros (33 billion dollars) each year, although the European Commission puts the figure at between nine and 12 billion euros.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who triumphantly unveiled the targets last year when her country held the EU's rotating presidency, conceded last week that the bloc has "lots of work" ahead if it is to reach agreement.

"The financial crisis looks like an excuse to me," said German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

"If we don't make it (to agreement by December), the international negotiations on climate change are going to be seriously compromised," he told reporters Monday.

Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Analysis: EU climate efforts hit by crisis
Berlin (UPI) Oct 17, 2008
The financial crisis is derailing progress in Europe on climate protection.

  • China quake rumour-monger jailed for four years: court
  • Sri Lanka destroys food aid withheld from tsunami victims
  • Did Termites Help Katrina Destroy New Orleans Floodwalls
  • Mexico prepares shelters ahead of Hurricane Norbert

  • EU climate plans threatened as nations look to help industry
  • 34 Million-Yr GHG Model: Earth Is CO2 Sensitive
  • Global Warming Threatens Australia's Iconic Kangaroos
  • Analysis: EU climate efforts hit by crisis

  • GeoEye Releases First Image Collected By GeoEye-1
  • Maps Shed Light On CO2's Global Nature
  • 2008 Ozone Hole Larger Than Last Year
  • Smog Blog For Central America And Caribbean Debuts

  • Contact sought with kidnappers of Chinese in Sudan
  • Oil well hot water used to make power
  • Nine Chinese oil workers kidnapped near Sudan flashpoint
  • New way proposed to make energy from waste

  • After setbacks, hunt for AIDS vaccine pushes on
  • Earliest Known Human TB Found In 9,000 Year-Old Skeletons
  • Waterborne Disease Risk Upped In Great Lakes
  • Analysis: Flu pandemic would overwhelm

  • Fish Diversity May Be Key To Recovery Of Coral Reefs
  • Volcanoes May Have Provided Sparks And Chemistry For First Life
  • Brain Structure Provides Key To Function Of Dinosaur Crests
  • UGA Study Reveals Ecosystem-Level Consequences Of Frog Extinctions

  • SRNL's Microbes Useful For For Environmental Cleanup And Oil Recovery
  • US sharply tightens air quality standards for lead
  • Polluting factories in central China sicken farmers: state press
  • Defence lawyers threaten to stop Ivory Coast pollution trial

  • US women office-workers prefer computers to men: study
  • US nuclear family also technology family
  • Which Way Out Of Africa
  • Eight of China's 10 oldest people are ethnic minorities: report

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement