The option of European Union nations backing a carbon-cut strategy up to 2050 was dropped from the agenda of June 11 ministerial meeting after Germany concluded it was unlikely to win unanimous support, an EU official said.
The possibility of adopting a declaration on the Low-Carbon Roadmap was originally added to the draft agenda at th request of Germany, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. A ministerial statement on the strategy paper would need support from all 27 EU member states.
At stake is the bloc’s post-2020 tactic to cut emissions, which companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) have said should be defined swiftly to boost investors’ confidence in the EU emissions market, where prices slumped 62 percent in the past year on oversupply. The roadmap, published last year by the European Commission, the EU regulatory arm, sets out the most cost-efficient path for the bloc to meet its goal of cutting greenhouse gases including CO2 by at least 80 percent in 2050.
A ministerial declaration on the strategy, which could encourage the commission to propose new legislation, was already blocked twice in the past year by Poland, which relies on coal for about 90 percent of its electricity generation. The central European country opposes any decisions on post-2020 goals before the region gets more clarity on a global emissions-reduction deal that nations worldwide agreed to achieve by 2015.
Poland, which has repeatedly said it would object to any more stringent climate policies than those already agreed upon, is also concerned that ministerial support for the roadmap could lead to stricter 2020 targets, a move that could hurt its industry at a time of economic slowdown.
The EU is already on track to meet its binding goal of lowering greenhouse gases by 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels and may reduce emissions by 25 percent as long as nations step up energy savings, the commission has said. The best scenario for Europe would be to cut emissions by 40 percent in 2030 and 60 percent in 2040, according to the strategy paper.
Denmark, the holder of the bloc’s rotating presidency and the chair of next week’s meeting, will present on June 11 a brief state of play on the roadmap, the EU official said today.
Germany, France and the U.K., which have called for more ambitious emission-reduction targets, may want to bring the issue of the future EU climate policy to the attention of the bloc’s leaders later this month, Claude Turmes, a Luxembourg member of the European Parliament, said on May 24.
The next EU summit is scheduled for June 28-29 in Brussels. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said last month the EU needs to hold further talks on the bloc’s climate policy and the carbon market, adding her country “wants to lead in that regard” by reducing its own emissions 40 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
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