24th Mar 2018

EU says it will meet climate target before deadline

The EU will meet with the Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by 2010, two years before the deadline, a commission report stated on Thursday (1 December).

Emissions from the 15 EU pre-enlargement countries will be reduced to 9.3 percent below 1990 levels by 2010, the report shows.

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  • The EU will reach global environmental goals ahead of time, a commission report shows (Photo: Kashmiri Overseas Association)

The Kyoto Protocol, a global environmental agreement which is currently being discussed in a 180 nation assembly in Canada, requires the 15 nations that were EU members before enlargement last year to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent in 2008-2012 compared with 1990.

"We have already reduced our emissions despite healthy economic growth',' EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas said in a statement released in Brussels.

Mr Dimas however warned states not to be complacent, arguing that seventeen EU countries are projected to meet their emissions targets, while the others are still "in the process of identifying further actions", writes the International Herald Tribune.

The Kyoto Protocol targets carbon dioxide and five other gases blamed for causing climate changes, and obliges the top 35 industrialised nations to cut emissions by 5.2 percent below their 1990 levels by 2012.

Contrasting UN figures

But UN figures released in November appear to contrast with Brussels' optimism.

A UN report showed that the EU as a bloc achieved a reduction of 1.4 percent in emissions from 1990 to 2003, still far away from the minus 8 percent target in 2012 that the Europeans have set themselves in the framework of the international Kyoto protocol.

Former communist new member states witnessed sizable reductions as dirty plants closed, with the largest cuts reported in Latvia (58%) and Lithuania (66%).

However, most "old" member states have seen emissions increasing instead of decreasing.

Eleven of the fifteen old member states have reported emissions going up instead of down since 1990, with huge increases seen in Spain (41.7%), Portugal (36.7%), Greece (25.8%), Ireland (25.6%), Finland (21.5%) and Austria (16.5%).

The EU runs a burden-sharing agreement between member states to achieve the Kyoto targets as a bloc as a whole, while pioneering an emission trading rights scheme for companies.

Commission sticks to its line on Barroso case

In a letter to a coalition of transparency NGOs, the EU executive has repeated that a meeting between its former boss - now working for Goldman Sachs - and the current vice president was "fully in line" with the rules.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.


Tariffs and Turkey will top This WEEK

The EU will maintain pressure on the US to resolve a tariff dispute. On Monday, European Commission president Juncker, along council president Tusk, will discuss relations with Turkey's president Erdogan. Additional national measures against Russia are also expected.

EU rejects US trade 'gun to the head'

EU leaders demanded a permanent exemption from US tariffs on steel and aluminium - and ruled out any bilateral trade talks within the 1 May deadline set by Donald Trump.

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