EU climate policy: words or deeds?

23 January 2008

EU climate policy: words or deeds?

“Commission President José Barroso's presentation of the European climate plans today was enthusiastic, but while it looks good on paper, we want now to see what it adds up to in practice." This was SP Euro-MP Kartika Liotard's reaction to, on the one hand, the Commission's fine words and, on the other, recent policy measures which go completely against the environmental goals presented today.

Kartika LiotardThe EU is committed to achieving, by 2020, a 20 percent reduction in emissions of greenhouse gases in preparation for a further reduction which will bring emissions down to a level 30 percent lower than is presently the case. By then, moreover, 20 percent of energy must come from sustainable sources. "Great," says Liotard, "and I really hope that it succeeds. But just this month the European Parliament decided that we need to go a bit easier on our demands for more environmentally-friendly cars and be more flexible in our approach to emission rights for energy-hungry industries such as steel and cement production. That isn't the way to achieve these targets."

According to Liotard, the Commission is going to have a hard job getting proposals past the Parliament and the Council. “Lobbyists from industry and from the member states have already put in overtime ensuring that the Commission would weaken these proposals. In general, they've had even more success when it comes to the European Parliament. And given the attitude of many of the political groups and national delegations to recent proposed measures, environmental consciousness is asking a lot."

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