Climate “small” change
Three euros a week (£2.10) for every citizen of the European Union – that’ s the cost of a new climate change action plan just launched by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
The plan is an historic document designed to make Europe the first economy for the low-carbon age, says Mr Barroso. The aim is a 20% cut in EU greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a figure which could rise to 30% if a global deal with other key economic Blocs is agreed. By 2050 Mr Barroso wants to see global emissions cut by half from their present level – Europe must lead the way, he says.
The proposed measures for EU member states include –
• An improved emissions trading system (ETS) covering more emissions and allowing firms in one EU country to buy allowances from any other
• An emission reduction target for industries not covered by the ETS (e.g. buildings, transport, waste) so that everyone is contributing
• Legally enforceable targets for increasing the share of renewables in the energy mix – the targets will reflect each country’s individual needs and its potential
The European Commission hopes to see this policy package adopted by the end of 2008.
At The Organic Research Centre – Elm Farm we agree with other environment groups that the Commission should be planning for tougher, higher targets.
“The worthy words of EU President Barroso will not do enough to prevent climate catastrophe,” says director Lawrence Woodward. “Sustainable solutions are available in organic agriculture, local economies, properly renewable fuels, clean industry and in transport reform. What we see here is a lack of ambition and courage from Europe’s leaders.”