EU Wants to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions Beyond 2012
- EU Wants to Curb Greenhouse Gas Emissions Beyond 2012
February 09, 2005 By Associated Press
BRUSSELS, Belgium The European Union head office proposed plans for
curbing greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012 on Wednesday, arguing
that environmental protection need not come at the expense of
economic growth if countries work together.
With its proposal the European Commission became the first region in
the world to announce a post-Kyoto strategy, underscoring its role as
a global leader in environmental protection. The 25-nation bloc will
present its plans to U.S. President George W. Bush during his Feb. 22
visit to Brussels.
"Without strong political leadership we can't win this battle," said
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. "We must act now."
The EU played a major part in getting Kyoto off the ground -- a
difficult task after the United States, the world's largest emitter
of greenhouse gases, pulled out of the treaty in 2001. The United
States said the agreement would hurt its industry and hinder economic
Washington favors voluntary agreements with industry over binding
targets, and is investing billion of dollars into new climate-
The EU also wants to encourage rapidly emerging economies, such as
China and India, to play an active role because although emissions
per capita in these countries are lower than in the West, the large
size of their pollution coupled with economic growth will make them
bigger polluters than the United States and Europe together in the
"Fighting climate change is not a matter of choice, but a matter of
necessity, said EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas. "We will
continue to lead by example, but we will also continue to pressure
hard for all of our international partners to come on board."
Within Europe new incentives, such as tax breaks, for the development
and uptake of new climate-friendly technologies are being considered.
The EU Commission also wants to increase -- by an unspecified amount -
- money invested in research and development. Moreover, the
replacement of old power plants, transport systems and buildings also
should be guided by green principles.
The EU believes emissions from airplanes and shipping need to be
addressed both in Europe and abroad. They are currently outside the
Kyoto rules because some governments feared that applying pollution
targets to transport could hinder the development of global trade,
hurting economic growth and jobs.
The EU says the costs associated with curbing emissions are
manageable for the world's economies, providing they act together.
Reducing emissions by around 1.5 percent a year in the EU after 2012
would shave a total of 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent off growth by 2025,
the Commission says.
EU leaders will debate the Commission's proposal at a summit in
Brussels in March.
Source: Associated Press