EU business must lead low carbon revolution

30 November 2007 14:11  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS news)--European businesses must lead the move towards a low carbon economy, the European Union’s (EU) High Level Group (HLG) on Competitiveness, Energy and Environment said on Friday.


After two years of research, the group said the role of industry was vital in tackling climate change by reducing emissions from energy production.


Energy accounts for 80% of all greenhouse (GHG) emissions worldwide, according to the group.


“Tackling climate change requires a varied, integrated approach, which addresses the triple goal of competitiveness, energy and the environment,” said EC vice-president Gunter Verheugen.


“Taking action now can give European businesses an advantage over others, so they manufacture the safest and cleanest products, which the world is waiting for,” he added.


Business will have to develop more sustainable products, services and technologies, but public authorities must likewise create conducive market conditions to allow business to act, said the group.


International sector agreements should lead the way post-2012, suggested the HLG, claiming they would encourage the diffusion of new technology and best practice and thereby accelerate action globally.


Investments in energy supply globally is estimated at about €15 trillion ($22 trillion) between 2005-2030 and emphasis should be placed on deploying cost effective solutions and avoiding technology lock-in, said the group. 


It also recommended that next month’s United Nations (UN) meeting on climate change in Bali produces a road map engaging businesses to reach an international agreement on cutting greenhouse gases by 2009.


European business cannot solve the problem of climate change alone and all major emitting countries must take action to reduce emissions, concluded the HLG.


However, the UN should not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, but must develop “different mechanisms … to enable different countries and actors to engage”.


($1 = €0.68)

By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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