Commission must maintain EU ambition on climate and energy legislation
Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group
Press release 22.1.2008
The European Commission is due to present its long-awaited proposals on climate and energy legislation (including emissions trading, renewables and burden sharing) tomorrow. Commenting on the emissions trading proposals, Finnish Green MEP Satu Hassi said:
”It is important that the EU maintains ambition on its climate targets. Member States have committed to a 30% greenhouse gas reduction by 2020 (the reduction scientists agree is the minimum necessary) assuming an international agreement is reached. The most crucial aspect of the Emissions Trading Scheme for meeting the reductions target is the emissions cap, which must be based on the -30% target. CDM/JI and other external credits must not count towards this – but worryingly the leaked Commission proposals permit their use towards even the 20% unilateral target.
”We must learn from the failures of the first round of the ETS. Full auctioning for the power sector and oil refineries is essential for the avoidance of undue windfall profits to those sectors. Auctioning should be the general rule for allocation, departed from only under specific, justifiable circumstances. Revenues from auctioning – c. 50 billion euro per year – should be used by Member States for climate-related purposes in Europe and outside (financing efficiency improvements in buildings and houses, renewable energies, technology transfer, deforestation, etc.)
In Bali the international community committed to finding a comprehensive post-2012 climate agreement by 2009. If such an agreement is nevertheless insufficient to prevent unfair environmental dumping to EU energy-intensive sectors a climate levy should be introduced – or a requirement to buy EU emissions allowances corresponding to imports from those sectors (from countries without reduction commitments for the corresponding sectors).”
Commenting on the proposed legislation for renewable energy, Luxembourg Green and newly-appointed draftsmen for the EP on renewables Claude Turmes added:
”Member States have been balking at potential renewables targets for some time now and this hostility has caused them not to see the wood for the trees. Expanding renewables is not some punitive means of achieving climate goals, it is a key means of reducing our dependence on foreign energy and creating jobs in Europe.
”Crucially, the target is based on final consumption, so if you reduce consumption, the target will be easier to meet. Therefore energy saving and energy efficiency are central to meeting the target.”
On the specific EU target for agro-fuels, British Green and Climate Committee Co-ordinator Caroline Lucas concluded:
”The warning signs have been there from the beginning but there is now a growing consensus among experts, even within the Commission, that agro-fuels are not a panacea for our climate and energy problems. Worse than that, this generation of ’biofuels’ risks wreaking serious social and environmental damage without delivering any real emissions reductions.
The oft-discussed sustainability criteria are very difficult to enforce and, based on current drafts, would not guarantee any net emissions reductions in the short-term. The exemption from environmental sustainability criteria until 2013 for biofuels produced by installations that were in operation in January 2008 is completely unacceptable, as is the proposal that Member States cannot determine their own broader sustainability criteria. The 10% target for biofuels (by 2020) is already an anachronism. Member States must scrap it, and replace their current biofuels policy with a more sustainable alternative.”
Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament