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首页 > 新闻资讯 > 行业资讯 > 泰晤士报报道欧盟将设立最艰难目标应对全球变暖
泰晤士报报道欧盟将设立最艰难目标应对全球变暖
发布日期:2015-03-26 21:09    浏览次数:     作者:卓业能源    
From
May 26, 2010
 

EU sets toughest targets to fight global warming

 
 
 
 

Europe will introduce a surprise new plan today to combat global warming, committing Britain and the rest of the EU to the most ambitious targets in the world. The plan proposes a massive increase in the target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions in this decade.

 

The European Commission is determined to press ahead with the cuts despite the financial turmoil gripping the bloc, even though it would require Britain and other EU member states to impose far tougher financial penalties on their industries than are being considered by other large economies.

The plan, to cut emissions by 30 per cent on 1990 levels by 2020, would cost the EU an extra £33 billion a year by 2020, according to a draft of the Commission’s communication leaked to The Times.

The existing target of a 20 per cent cut is already due to cost £48 billion. The Commission will argue that the lower target has become much easier to meet because of the recession, which resulted in the EU’s emissions falling more than 10 per cent last year as thousands of factories closed or cut production. Emissions last year were already 14 per cent below 1990 levels.

Business leaders fear that thousands of jobs could be lost and energy bills could soar. Carbon taxes on road fuel, heating and other sources of emissions could be introduced, with proceeds reinvested in renewable energy products.

 

The EU’s present policy is to wait for other countries to commit themselves to equivalent action on their emissions before raising its target to 30 per cent “as part of a genuine global effort”. But after the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit, a global deal on cutting emissions is now unlikely to be agreed until the end of next year.

Connie Hedegaard, the Climate Commissioner, will make the case for the EU to commit itself unilaterally to a 30 per cent cut, to inspire other countries to follow suit and accelerate the development of low-carbon industries.

The draft communication says: “The extra economic effort needed to reach 30 per cent — while still substantial — has fallen.” It adds: “Both the international context and the economic analysis suggest that the EU is right to continue preparing for a move to a 30 per cent target. With the 20 per cent target reachable with less effort, and the carbon price low, it also acts as a much less powerful incentive for change and innovation.”

The plan also says that the higher target would reduce air pollution from fossil fuels and improve the health of millions of people, generating up to £8 billion a year in economic benefits from having a healthier population.

The plan could raise tensions in Britain because the Liberal Democrats promised in their manifesto to adopt the 30 per cent target “unilaterally and immediately” but Conservatives suggested they would oppose such a move.

The draft Commission document raises the possibility of trade wars by suggesting EU industries could be protected by imposing border tariffs on imported goods from non-EU countries with less stringent emission controls. The tariffs would be introduced with a requirement for importers to buy emissions permits.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change, where Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat, is Secretary of State, said the Government did not yet have an agreed position on whether the EU should unilaterally adopt the higher target. “They haven’t got further than the coalition agreement so it’s unclear at the moment,” a spokeswoman said.

Jeremy Nicholson, director of the Energy Intensive Users Group, said: “A unilateral move to 30 per cent would damage the European economy at a time when we can ill afford it.”

Neil Bentley, director of business environment at the CBI, said: “Talk of moving to 30 per cent is premature because it seems unlikely that we will get a global deal this year.”