Monday

27th Mar 2017

Germany, France rubbish unilateral 30% cuts in emissions

On the eve of the European Commission's unveiling of a key study on how the EU can sharply ratchet up its climate promise of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the bloc's two most powerful members have torpedoed the initiative.

The EU has long promised to move from its current level of cuts in emissions of 20 percent up to 30 percent on 1990 levels by 2020 - but only if other major powers make comparable reductions.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The paper is widely expected to show how the EU can make the leap with little additional cost and with large benefits in terms of providing incentives for the development of green technologies. Brussels is very concerned that China, the US and other states are stealing a march on the old continent in this new realm of investment.

But on Tuesday, Germany and France jointly dismissed the proposals ahead of their publication.

"We have shared our concerns at the commission's proposal," French industry minister Christian Estrosi told reporters at a joint news conference with German economy minister Rainer Bruederle.

Mr Estrosi stressed that the EU can make the additional cuts, but under the same proposed bargain as before, that other countries must make similar efforts.

"The European Union is ready to adopt the 30 percent figure if other major economies make comparable undertakings," he said.

"We have the same analysis," Mr Bruederle added.

"We believe that after the failure of the Copenhagen summit, we must give ourselves a bit more time."

Business groups are also lobbying hard against the proposal, with Business Europe, the trade association of some of Europe's biggest corporations, writing to the commission on Tuesday criticising the idea of a unilateral jump to 30 percent cuts.

Analysis

EU transport sector has a CO2 problem

Although car manufacturers are reaching their CO2 targets for their fleets, car usage has gone up in Germany, while the gap between lab results and actual fuel consumption has increased.

Doubts over EU chemical agency after weedkiller study

Green MEPs and health pressure groups said the European Chemicals Agency could be suffering from conflicts of interest, after it said there wasn't enough evidence to prove that the world's most widely used weedkiller causes cancer.

Column / Crude World

Nord Stream 2: The elephant in the room

The European Commission should provide a thorough impact assessment of Nord Stream 2, a project that appears to go against all of its Energy Union objectives.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Belgrade Security ForumCall for Papers: European Union as a Global Crisis Manager - Deadline 30 April
  2. European Gaming & Betting Association60 Years Rome Treaty – 60 Years Building an Internal Market
  3. Malta EU 2017New EU Rules to Prevent Terrorism and Give More Rights to Victims Approved
  4. European Jewish Congress"Extremists Still Have Ability and Motivation to Murder in Europe" Says EJC President
  5. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAudiovisual Media Services Directive to Exclude Minors from Gambling Ads
  6. ILGA-EuropeTime for a Reality Check on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  7. UNICEFHuman Cost to Refugee and Migrant Children Mounts Up One Year After EU-Turkey Deal
  8. Malta EU 2017Council Adopts New Rules to Improve Safety of Medical Devices
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Energy Research: How to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy
  10. Party of European SocialistsWe Must Renew Europe for All Europeans
  11. MEP Tomáš ZdechovskýThe European Commission Has Failed in Its Fight Against Food Waste
  12. ILGA-EuropeEP Recognises Discrimination Faced by Trans & Intersex People