EU seals climate and energy package

The package is designed to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, as pledged by European leaders at their spring summit in 2007.

01/15/2009


Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) formally approved a package of six new climate and energy laws, reports ENDS Europe Daily ( www.endseuropedaily.com ). More than 550 MEPs backed the package, while fewer than 100 voted against.
The package is designed to cut EU greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels, as pledged by European leaders at their spring summit in 2007. The EU will aim for a 30% cut if other industrialized countries take on equivalent commitments in a new international climate treaty to be agreed at U.N. talks in Copenhagen next December.
Despite dissent from some MEPs to elements of the laws, the European parliament gave overwhelming support to compromise deals with governments on:

  • a directive revising rules for the EU emission trading scheme (ETS) for its third trading period from 2013 to 2020;

  • an "effort-sharing" decision setting national binding greenhouse gas reduction targets for non-ETS sectors in each member state, to be met by 2020 from a 2005 baseline;

  • a directive promoting carbon capture and storage (CCS);

  • a directive to ensure renewable energy makes up at least 20% of the EU's total energy consumption by 2020;

  • a regulation setting binding greenhouse gas emission limits for new passenger cars, to be phased in from 2012 to 2015; and

  • a directive revising existing fuel quality rules and introducing a binding target for greenhouse gas emissions cuts from road fuels by 2020.

The texts will now pass back to the council of ministers for a final approval step, after which they will be published in the EU's official journal.
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