EU ministers to set new greenhouse gas targets

08 March 2007 10:54  [Source: ICIS news]

EU ministers to set new greenhouse gas targetsBRUSSELS (ICIS news)--European heads of state will meet in Brussels later on Thursday to try to agree new targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and reduce the threat of global warming.


Ministers were expected to agree to slash emissions of carbon dioxide by 20% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels - rising to 30% if and when the US and other countries make similar commitments.


They were also due to decide tougher targets on increased use of renewables and biofuels.


The ministers were likely to conclude that European Union (EU) member states should ensure at least 10% of their transport fuel was provided by biofuels by 2020.


The European Commission (EC) would like renewables to provide 20% of EU energy by 2020.


Currently, around 5% of the UK’s electricity is generated from renewable sources, according to the UK’s Local Government Association.


But the idea of introducing a binding target for renewables would be hotly contested by those member states that are already heavily reliant on nuclear power.


This bloc is led by outgoing French President Jacques Chirac, who has proposed that instead of a binding renewables target, member states should agree to produce 40-45% of their energy by "low carbon" means by 2020.


Green members of the European Parliement have argued that such a target is "impossible" as it would require 20 to 40 nuclear power stations to be built across Europe over the next eight years.


*For more on biofuels, please see Simon Robinson's Big Biofuels Blog.

By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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