European Parliament votes to adopt climate change bill

17 December 2008 12:53  [Source: ICIS news]

PARIS (ICIS News)--The European Parliament voted on Wednesday overwhelmingly in favour of adopting the deal agreed by EU leaders last week to slash EU emissions by 20% by 2020 compared with 1990 levels.

The climate package aims to cut emissions, increase the amount of EU energy produced from renewable sources and raise energy efficiency by 20% by 2020.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all parties had criticised parts of the compromise deal, claiming that concessions to industry and eastern European member states watered down the European Commission’s proposal, but most chose to back the package in today’s vote.

UK conservative MEP John Bowis said that “despite being watered down by national governments”, the EU now had the tools to tackle climate change and to secure an ambitious agreement at the United Nations (UN) climate change talks in Copenhagen next year.

Environmentalists, however, remained angry at the decision to ease proposed changes to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

“This is not quite the third industrial revolution trumpeted when proposals were presented at the beginning of the year,” said Delia Villagrasa, senior advisor to the WWF.

“The 20% target sounds nice in words, but is void because EU countries are allowed to accomplish approximately three quarters of the effort outside EU borders, which translates into a European emission reduction of only 4 to 5% between now and 2020”.

The deal must now be signed off by the EU council of ministers next year before it becomes law.

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By: Philippa Jones
+44 20 8652 3214

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