Thursday, October 23, 2014

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

German Industry Issues Stark Warning Ahead Of EU Climate Summit
Eastern Europe Attacks EU’s Unilateral CO2 Plans

As EU heads of state prepare to thrash out an agreement on the bloc’s 2030 energy and climate change goals at a summit opening in Brussels tomorrow (23 October), energy-intensive industries in Germany have reiterated warnings that a European “solo effort” would come with billions in losses. “If Europe chooses a solo effort through a one-sided climate protection target of 40% less emissions, it would mean billions in losses for us that our global competitors would not otherwise have gained. The damage done to competitiveness among energy-intensive companies in the EU would be considerable,” said Utz Tillmann, a spokesman for the Energy Intensive Industries of Germany (EID). --EurActiv, 22 October 2014

The EU’s plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 has come under heavy assault as an increasing number of eastern European nations rally behind Poland’s threat to scupper a landmark climate deal this week. “I do not think that we can go with this current deal. If there is no change then we will walk away,” said Tomáš Prouza, the Czech Republic’s state secretary for European affairs. “The numbers just do not add up.” One ambassador predicted the most difficult summit since the height of the eurozone crisis. “Both sides are in their trenches, shelling each other,” he said. --Henry Foy and Christian Oliver, Financial Times, 20 October 2014

The leaders of the 28 members of the European Union are set to meet here on Thursday to reassert their global leadership in climate protection, but they will first need to finesse deep divisions over how to generate and distribute energy. Reaching a deal this week would give the union bragging rights before a United Nations climate conference in Paris scheduled for late 2015, by making it the first major global emitter to put forward its position. Polish leaders, however, have hinted that they may veto any agreement. And the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has already warned that the summit meeting may end in deadlock, requiring further discussions. Analysts have warned that if a deal is reached, it will most likely be a messy compromise. --James Kanter, The New York Times, 21 October 2014

The UK Government’s enthusiasm for domestic and EU-wide green policies is not shared by countries in central and eastern Europe, many of whom are extremely reluctant to sign up to the EC’s targets. In 2011, George Osborne announced that the UK would go no faster than the rest of Europe with regards CO2 emissions targets. If agreement on emissions reductions cannot be reached at a European and a global level, the Government would come under growing pressure to suspend unilateral targets post 2020. --Global Warming Policy Forum, 22 October 2014

Our power stations are ageing fast. We have eked out their lifespan for longer than expected, but replacements are urgently needed. Yet for years, our politicians have failed to act, promoting costly and over-subsidised renewables rather than building new gas or nuclear plants. To make matters worse, much of our capacity has been scrapped, in compliance with environmental restrictions set in Brussels. If things continue as they are, the prospect has been raised of Seventies-style restrictions on energy use, even rolling blackouts. That is a grim prospect for a 21st-century economy. --Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, 21 October 2014

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