This site will look much better in a browser that supports web standards,but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Skip to content....

text size: Decrease text-size Increase text-size

Skip to content....

EU Emissions Policy in confusion, says MEP

02 March 2006

The United Kingdom is responsible for around 2% of global CO2 Emissions. Whilst the United Kingdom is making progress in the right direction, CO2 emissions from some other countries are not only increasing, but are expected to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The farcical approach of the EU, to Climate Change, is exemplified by the fact that whilst the UK plans to cut our emissions by 60% by 2050, with real progress by 2020, at the same time the Republic of Ireland has a target to increase its emissions by 13%! Such a discrepancy in approach will inevitably disadvantage business in Northern Ireland.

Globally the situation is even more ludicrous. According to the International Energy Agency, global emissions will be 52% higher in 2030, unless the world curbs its energy consumption. Even if the developed nations implement climate change mitigation policies, global CO2 emissions are still expected to grow by around 30% by 2030.

And the reason for this growth? Simply, because the EU, and the rest of the developed world, continues to promote, and support, environmentally damaging economic growth in China and India, at the expense of our own industries.

By 2030 coal fired power in India and China will add 3000 million extra tonnes of CO2 to the atmosphere every year – 13 times the UK’s current total of CO2 from power generation! Over the same period emissions from China alone are forecast to grow by as much as those of the entire industrialised world.

The Commons Science and Technology Committee report clearly states, “Fossil fuel consumption in countries such as China and India will have a profound and potentially catastrophic impact on global atmospheric CO2 levels eclipsing any reductions made by the UK and others”

The approach of the EU to climate change is contradictory and confusing. Internally, with the already noted exception of the Republic of Ireland, the approach is one of increased regulation, tough targets, and complicated carbon trading schemes. However the approach to major polluters (India and China) is slow, stepped voluntary agreements.

For example the EU/China collaboration on Climate Change, first phase, is about a feasibility study and knowledge transfer of Carbon Capture and Storage technologies. India at the moment is showing little interest even in a voluntary, collaborative approach. The simple reality is that the Carbon Capture and Storage Technologies need to be deployed now and not just talked about!

EU policy delivers higher internal energy costs and lower manufacturing output in the name of protecting the environment, while globally its policies lead to greater environmental damage by refusing to adequately tackle the inefficiencies and environmental vandalism of China, in particular.

A new approach needs to be adopted. China is increasingly the manufacturer to the world, in general, and EU in particular. As such the EU needs to take seriously its global responsibilities and ensure that its trading partners are operating to the highest environmental standards. This should be done by enforceable conditions in all trading agreements with China.  Otherwise the EU’s internal environmental restrictions are simply anti competitive measures directed at its own members.

back to list 

Agriculture and Environment