23 January 2008 12:39 [Source: ICIS news]
PARIS (ICIS news)--The European climate change package will be good for the environment and the economy, European Commission (EC) president Jose Manuel Barroso told members of the European parliament (MEPs) on Wednesday.
The package, which is due to be unveiled in detail later, will help tackle climate change and help the European economy compete internationally, said Barroso.
He reassured energy-intensive industries such as the chemicals industry that they would continue to receive allowances under the EU emissions trading scheme (EU ETS).
Other sectors will receive their allowances through the system of auctioning.
If there is no global agreement on how to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012, Barroso said the EC would also look at other options to protect energy intensive industries.
These options could include “requiring importers to obtain allowances alongside European competitors, as long as such a system is compatible with WTO [World Trade Organisation] requirements,” said Barroso.
He emphasised that climate change was a global, not a European problem, and that the EU needed to take the lead rather than go it alone in reducing emissions.
The EC hopes to cut GHG emissions 20% - or 30% if other developed countries agree to do the same - reach 20% of energy use through renewables and increase energy efficiency 20% by 2020.
To reach these targets the package will include “specific binding targets so that member states know exactly what they have to do outside the ETS in sectors such as transport, buildings, agriculture and waste” and binding renewable targets, said Barroso.
The targets will “recognise member states’ different capacities to invest and also their starting points,” he added.
The proposals would cost around 0.5% of the EU’s GDP by 2020 - “about €3 [$4.40] a week for each EU citizen” - while inaction would cost around €60 a week, said the president.
($1 = €0.69)
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