New EU argument delays greenhouse gas emissions progress

30 October 2007

It has emerged that the European Commission, due to announce on December 5 its proposals on how to cut CO2 emissions by 20% and use renewables for 20% of its energy consumption by 2020, has put off the plans until the new year.


The UN conference, from December 3 to 14, will try to draw up plans for the post-2012 phase of the Kyoto protocol to cut global greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU, self-styled leader in the battle against global warming, has put forward proposals for the UN to adopt a goal of a 30% cut in emissions by 2020 but has been riven by arguments among its members over the role of trading mechanisms for promoting the use of renewables to reach that target and the EUs's own target of a 20% cut.


The decision to postpone the plans comes before a vote by MEPs this week over the commission's plans to force manufacturers to cut CO2 emissions from new cars.

Car makers are likely to be given three years' breathing space to reduce emissions.


Motor manufacturers are also expected to lose the right to use biofuels to meet proposals that originally called for CO2 emissions from new European cars to be cut by around a quarter to 120g a kilometre by 2012.

Green MEPs warned last week that the whole EU climate change strategy would be jeopardised if car makers were not bound to meet the 2012 target and an even tougher goal of 80g by 2020.


They said that the commission's own proposals would cut emissions by only 239m tonnes a year compared with the 521m tonnes under their own plans.

A report prepared for them by Berlin consultants CPC said cars are responsible for 12% of total EU CO2 emissions.


The Green MEPs said that, if the EU were to meet its more ambitious target of a 30% cut in emissions by 2020, cars would have to be smaller, lighter and subjected to a 160kph (100mph) speed limit, with gas guzzlers effectively banned from Europe's roads.

Sourced from The Guardian

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