Friday

24th Nov 2017

Focus

CO2 reductions slip down EU priority list

EU climate action commissioner Connie Hedegaard has said that achieving an agreement on reduced CO2 emissions at a United Nations' conference later this year is no longer a top EU priority.

Speaking at an event organised by the centre-right European Peoples Party on Tuesday (14 September), Ms Hedegaard said the US inability to act on emission targets meant the EU would focus instead on securing a number of other issues.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • The world's atmosphere is heating up as a result of rising C02 levels (Photo: Notat)

"I believe that targets will not be the main issue at [the UN meeting in] Cancun because the US failed to pass their environment legislation," the Danish commissioner told her audience.

Instead Ms Hedegaard's 'wish-list' for the meeting in Mexico (29 Nov - 10 Dec 2010) includes solidifying the world's commitment to a temperature rise of no more than two degrees centigrade and the conclusion of a comprehensive agreement to protect the globe's forests (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries, or Redd).

Redd is a UN scheme that would see wooded states such as Indonesia paid to prevent further deforestation.

Deforestation and forest degradation account for up to one-fifth of all greenhouse gases released by human activities, according to UN estimates.

Much of the environmental NGO community has spoken out against the scheme however, saying it is full of perverse incentives that channel funds towards business and result in the displacement of indigenous groups.

Other items on Ms Hedegaard's list of priorities for Cancun include the development of mechanisms to help states deal with the effects of climate change, while stressing the need for Europe to keep its top spot in the green technology sector.

In 2007 the EU invested twice China's level in energy-efficient technology, but in 2009 the levels were equal, warned the commissioner.

"China has 50 percent of the world solar power and wind market," she added. "We should be very, very cautious in Europe not to give away our frontrunner position."

European industry is keenly aware of the shift. "EU policy makers must work harder to provide the right framework conditions to stimulate innovation," Eurochambres director of EU affairs Ben Butters said in a statement after the speech.

But despite the fact that the world is still coming to terms with a summer peppered with natural disasters, others agree that a comprehensive deal, including CO2 emissions it unlikely to be achieved this year.

"It is probably not before the UN meeting in South Africa [Nov-Dec 2011] that an international agreement will be possible," the vice-chair of the UN International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele de Strihou, said at Tuesday's conference.

NGO reactions to the CO2 emissions news were negative, however.

"It is related to the US, but still displays a lack of ambition," climate change campaigner David Heller of the Friends of the Earth told this website.

Poland to veto EU low carbon plan

Polish environment minister Marcin Korolec has said he will veto an EU proposal for CO2 cuts at a meeting in Brussels on Friday.

China urges Germany and France to solve euro-crisis

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on Thursday offered vague promises to buy bonds from troubled euro-countries, but said that it is ultimately up to Germany and France to solve the crisis.

News in Brief

  1. Rwanda may resettle 30,000 migrants from Libya
  2. EU tax haven blacklist may include Turkey
  3. No UK 'capital of culture' city post-Brexit
  4. EU sets up natural disaster rescue team
  5. Spain sends migrant arrivals to unfinished prison
  6. Iceland prepares for biggest volcano to blow
  7. Greek parliament postpones debate on Saudi arms deal
  8. Family of murdered Malta journalist to sue police

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Ministers Pledge to Work More Closely at Nordic and EU Level
  2. European Friends of ArmeniaLaunch of Honorary Council on the Occasion of the Eastern Partnership Summit and CEPA
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU Leaders Should Press Azerbaijan President to End the Detention of Critics
  4. CECEKey Stakeholders to Jointly Tackle the Skills Issue in the Construction Sector
  5. Idealist Quarterly"Dear Politics, Time to Meet Creativity!" Afterwork Discussion & Networking
  6. Mission of China to the EUAmbassador Zhang Ming Received by Tusk; Bright Future for EU-China Relations
  7. EU2017EEEstonia, With the ECHAlliance, Introduces the Digital Health Society Declaration
  8. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement For All Families? Same Sex Couple Ask EU Court for Recognition
  9. European Jewish CongressEJC to French President Macron: We Oppose All Contact With Far-Right & Far-Left
  10. EPSUWith EU Pillar of Social Rights in Place, Time Is Ticking for Commission to Deliver
  11. ILGA EuropeBan on LGBTI Events in Ankara Must Be Overturned
  12. Bio-Based IndustriesBio-Based Industries: European Growth is in Our Nature!

Latest News

  1. EU awaits UK proposals in final push for Brexit breakthrough
  2. Berlin risks being 'culprit' for stalling EU, warns Green MEP
  3. Eastern partners, eastern problems
  4. Germany's Schulz under pressure to enter coalition talks
  5. LuxLeaks trial re-opens debate on whistleblowers' protection
  6. Wilders says Russia is 'no enemy' ahead of Moscow visit
  7. EU must put Sudan under microscope at Africa summit
  8. Mali blames West for chaos in Libya