March 17, 2008
In addition to economic concerns, the bloc’s 27 governments are set to give further backing to an ambitious climate change commitment: to reduce the EU’s CO2 emissions by 20% by 2020 while upping the bloc’s use of rrenewable energy by 20% during the same period. Initially made in March 2007, the ’20-20-20′ commitments were translated into legislative proposals by the Commission on 23 January.It is expected that the conclusions finalised during the Spring Summit will endorse the Commission’s proposals following the generally positive reception of the plans by EU energy and environment ministers. The EU wants to see the measures finalised before the arrival of a new Commission and Parliament in 2009 in order to boost the EU’s credibility in international negotiations to agree a global climate change deal to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2013. The EU’s 20% CO2 reduction target will be upped to 30% if such a deal is in place.But the process of translating the 23 January proposals into law is not expected to be without controversy, despite public endorsements. Potentially divisive haggling and negotiations are likely to characterise the coming year, as EU states argue over who should shoulder the greatest ‘effort’ to reduce industrial CO2 emissions while building and financing more renewable energy capacity.
Many EU states are also concerned that the climate change agenda being pushed in
Brussels will threaten the competitiveness of their industries. Discussions on how to prevent ‘carbon leakage’ are expected to feature squarely on the agenda of Spring Summit.
From Eur ActivAuthor : EMI