Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Next up we have News from the Green Party, which gets it in the GO3 category, but might need to be viewed in a possibly partisan light.

For now, my edit contents itself with a few highlights of the release as provided. I don't necessarily agree with all the ideas flying about, but certainly do recall cocking an eyebrow at the difference between setting targets and actual doing stuff.

So, remind me... how long ago was Bali?


Green MEP for the South East, Caroline Lucas, has called on the EU to
strengthen its resolve on climate change today, as the European Commission
prepares to present its long-awaited proposals on climate and energy

Commenting on the proposals to be announced tomorrow, Dr Lucas said: “The EU
must ensure that it maintains ambition on its climate targets, so that this
new package – which already falls short of what is needed – does not prove
to be full of empty promises.

“In the proposals on emissions trading, Member States have committed to a
30% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020 – the reduction scientists agree is the
minimum necessary – assuming an international agreement is reached. The most
crucial aspect of the Emissions Trading Scheme for meeting the reductions
target is the emissions cap, which must be based on this 30% reduction

“Sadly, the leaked Commission proposals show that the use of CDM/JI and
other external credits will be permitted towards even the 20% unilateral
target. This is in stark contradiction to the Bali decisions where the EU
recognised that keeping climate change to below 2 degrees requires
reductions at the very least in the range of 25-40% for industrialised
countries by 2020. Thus the EC runs thus the risk of rendering the ETS a
toothless instrument.

“At the Bali climate talks, the international community made a commitment to
achieve a comprehensive post-2012 climate agreement by 2009. If such an
agreement is insufficient to prevent unfair environmental dumping to EU
energy-intensive sectors, a climate levy should be introduced with the
revenue invested in a climate adaptation fund - or a requirement to buy EU
emissions allowances corresponding to imports from those sectors (from
countries without reduction commitments for the corresponding sectors)."

Furthermore, Dr Lucas criticised the short-sightedness of Member States on
the fledgling renewables industry and called for stronger legislation which
puts development of renewables at the core of energy policy.

"Member States have been balking at potential renewables targets for some
time now, but expanding renewables is not some punitive means of achieving
climate goals – it is a key means of reducing our dependence on imported
fossil fuels and creating jobs in Europe.

She continued: "Crucially, the target is based on final consumption, so if
you reduce consumption, the target will be easier to meet. Therefore energy
saving and energy efficiency are central to meeting the target."

On the specific EU target for agro-fuels, Dr Lucas concluded:

"The warning signs have been there from the beginning but there is now a
growing consensus among experts, even within the Commission, that agro-fuels
are not a panacea for our climate and energy problems. Worse than that, this
generation of 'biofuels' risks wreaking serious social and environmental
damage without delivering any real emissions reductions.

“The oft-discussed sustainability criteria are very difficult to enforce
and, based on current drafts, would not guarantee any net emissions
reductions in the short-term.

“The exemption from environmental sustainability criteria until 2013 for
biofuels produced by installations that were in operation in January 2008 is
completely unacceptable, as is the proposal that Member States cannot
determine their own broader sustainability criteria. The 10% target for
biofuels (by 2020) is already an anachronism. Member States must scrap it,
and replace their current biofuels policy with a more sustainable

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