EU climate policy needs to come out of slumber
The European Parliament today adopted a resolution setting out its position on the forthcoming UN climate summit in Doha (COP18) and its demands for the EU position. Commenting on the outcome, Green MEP Satu Hassi, who will represent the Greens on the EP delegation to the COP18, said:
“It is high time for EU climate policy to wake up from the slumber it has been in for the past few years. The EP has today sent a clear message that EU needs to take action to address its stalled climate policy both domestically and in the context of international negotiations. MEPs have also strongly hit out at the current practise by which unanimity of all governments in Council is required for many decisions on climate policy. This practise is at odds with the provisions of the EU Treaties and has resulted in the stalled EU position.
“The current greenhouse gas target of a 20% reduction by 2020 is clearly at odds with the EU's pledge to limit the increase in global temperatures to below 2 degrees. It is also undermining the EU's main emissions reduction tool, the emissions trading scheme, and holding back green investments. We welcome that the EP has again highlighted this and the need for the EU to step up its target. Stepping up the EU's outdated emissions reduction target to at least 30% by 2020 is necessary to properly rescue the ETS (and address the oversupply of emissions permits), would help stimulate green investment and job creation in Europe and would help give new momentum to UN climate talks.
"The UN talks also need to remove the 'hot air' loophole, under which surplus emissions permits from the 2008-2012 Kyoto Protocol period can be transferred to the next period. Failure to do so could completely undermine the impact of the prolonged Kyoto Protocol in combating climate change. We welcome that the EP has again made this clear today.
"The EU Commission's proposal to suspend the enforcement of the emissions trading system for flights outside the EU is a major source of regret and the EP has today made clear that it believes the inclusion of aviation in the ETS is the right approach. The suspension would undermine EU regulatory authority and is clearly too high a price to pay for possible international negotiations within the ICAO. MEPs should therefore reject the proposed suspension in the forthcoming legislative process."