EU unhappy with latest Bush plans on climate

18 April 2008 13:37  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS news)--The EU is disappointed with the latest proposals from US President George Bush to tackle climate change, which could allow energy-intensive industries in the US to be more competitive than their European counterparts, officials said on Friday.

Speaking at the major economies meeting (MEM) in Paris on Friday, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said the US must fix objectives for reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

US president George Bush had suggested on Wednesday that the US had no need to fix such objectives until 2025.

Bush put forward proposals ahead of the MEM that would allow US GHG emissions to continue to grow for the next 17 years and only "begin to reverse thereafter, so long as technology continues to advance".

The plan was immediately criticised by environmentalists and EU leaders led by German environment minister Sigmar Gabriel, who said the president had “made a disappointing speech that does not match up to the global challenge”.

EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas also said the plan would “not contribute to the effective tackling of climate change”. 

The EU wants the US to follow its lead of cutting GHG emissions by at least 20% by 2020

However, energy-intensive industries in Europe are concerned that if the US - and other developed and quickly developing countries such as China and India, do not take similar steps - they will find it difficult to compete on the world stage. 

The countries participanting at the MEM are Australia, Brazil, the UK, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa and the US, who are responsible for 80% of the world's GHG emissions.

By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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