EU kicks effective climate action in to side lines
EU plans to tackle climate change by 2030, announced in Brussels today (Wednesday 22 January 2014), have been slammed by Friends of the Earth.
The environmental campaigning charity says the weak EU action plan will undermine international efforts to agree an effective plan to combat global warming, ahead of crucial talks in Paris in 2015.
Friends of the Earth’s International Climate Campaigner Asad Rehman said:
“Climate change is one of the biggest threats we face, but instead of putting action to tackle it at the heart of its policy making, the EU has effectively kicked it into the side lines.
“Building a low carbon Europe would not only be good for the environment, it would also create thousands of jobs and boost the economy, as the EU’s own research so clearly shows.
“Households across Europe are paying a heavy price for our dependency on dirty and increasingly costly fossil fuels – it’s time for a fresh approach to the huge challenges we face.
“The EU has turned its back on its citizens and acted to protect the financial interests of dirty energy companies who have been given the green light to carry on polluting.”
Commenting on the European Commission’s proposals on fracking, Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Tony Bosworth said:
“The EU’s failure to introduce binding regulations for fracking shows a real disregard for the environmental risks faced by communities across Europe.
“The UK Government must take much of the blame for this – it proclaims the benefit of regulation at home but has led the charge against action in Brussels”.
Notes to editors:
1. Proposals to cut the bloc’s emissions by 40 per by 2030 (based on 1990 levels) fall far short of the action required. The latest science requires the EU to double its emissions targets if it is serious about doing its fair share to prevent a two degree centigrade rise in global temperatures.
2. The 27% target for renewable energy is an actual scaling back of effort. Without targets for Member States the EU-wide target will be ignored by the climate laggards and be met by the handful of countries such as Germany and Denmark who have already invested in a cleaner future. Having no target for energy efficiency is simply a cave into the dirty energy lobby.
Friends of the Earth is calling for mandatory targets of at least 60% in domestic emissions and to ensure that 45 per cent of the bloc’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2030; and that Europe is required to cut its energy-use by 50 per cent of 1990 levels by the same date.
3. Fracking: As expected, the European Commission has decided against binding regulations on fracking, and has instead issued a ‘recommendation’ to Member States. Documents obtained by Friends of the Earth show that the UK government led the opposition to further regulation.
4. Friends of the Earth's Reckless Gamblers report sets out a fair share for the EU of the world’s remaining global carbon budget compatible with a likely chance of keeping below 2 degrees warming. This means at least 80% cuts for the EU by 2030 on 1990 levels.