Wednesday, January 22, 2014

'Burnt out' EU likely to curb climate goals

Binding national targets on renewable energy are expected to be dropped from new EU proposals due to be unveiled on Wednesday. The UK has lobbied hard to have the mandatory 2030 target watered down, saying it would drive up energy bills. The EU executive will also outline a goal on emissions cuts for 2030, set to be 35 or 40% below 1990 levels. But green groups said the proposals lacked ambition and were the acts of a "burnt out" Commission. Seven years ago, the EU set out a three-pronged energy and climate strategy for 2020.  But other countries, including the UK and Poland, have argued strongly that the mandatory target approach was too restrictive, and was preventing them cutting emissions in the most financially efficient way. A source within the Commission said that going forward, there would be a EU wide target on renewable energy for 2030, but it was likely that there would not be binding national targets. The Commission is also set to unveil a more modest carbon emissions cut target, expected to be either 35 or 40%, reflecting the changed economic circumstances since 2007. "We are moving from an ambitious targets and timetables approach to a classical muddling through approach," said Dr Oliver Geden from the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. "It is a changed world, it is not just about the financial crisis, it is also the result of changes in international climate policy. "There is not the 'we can change the world' optimism, they are retreating a little."...more

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