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Green Dreams
The EU's Resolve Wavers Ahead of Climate Change Deal

The European Union will come together next week to vote on a proposal to reduce carbon emissions, targeting a bloc-wide cut of 40 percent by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. EU heads of state will descend on Brussels on Thursday and Friday, but ahead of that meeting, there are already signs of significant pushback. Polish Deputy Prime Minister Janusz Piechocinski remarked that “if it is the initial proposal in its current shape, then Poland will have no choice and will have to veto it,” and, as the FT reports, a number of other countries may look to follow Poland’s lead:

[C]oal-dependent Poland and some of its neighbours argue that the EU’s proposals to compensate them for modernising their heavy industry do not go far enough. The opponents to the deal, led by Poland and the Czech Republic, but also including Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria, are ready to walk away from the summit if they are not offered improved terms.

“This may fail,” Rafal Trzaskowski, Poland’s European affairs minister, told the Financial Times. “We have our well-entrenched red lines . . . If they are not ready to take into consideration our apprehensions, then we will decide later this week or early next week not to deal with the issue at the summit.”

But the 30 percent GHG reduction target isn’t the only one in dispute. The EU Observer reports that, according to leaked draft conclusions from 22 of the EU’s member states, there remains significant disagreement over both energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, most pressingly on whether or not to make these targets mandatory:

At least seven mostly central and eastern European countries want [a 25 percent energy efficiency improvement target], while at least 12 agree with the draft conclusion’s 30 percent. Denmark wants the final text to say “at least 30 percent”. There is also disagreement on whether this efficiency target should be binding or “indicative”. Only six of the 22 leaked member states’ positions stated they wanted a binding target, but only at EU-level….A similar spectrum of opinions on the binding issue exists for the renewables target.

The hold-outs are, unsurprisingly, concentrated in central and eastern Europe, where heavy manufacturing and fossil fuel use remains critical for economic growth. The EU will try to buy these votes with emissions trading concessions and monetary compensation, but the bloc isn’t exactly flush at the moment, and balancing its green ambitions with economic realities will be tricky, to say the least.

The EU is running up against the same kinds of problems that plague negotiations over the Global Climate Treaty. If the world’s most green-minded collection of countries can’t overcome these issues to set new targets, what does that say about the prospects of a GCT?

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  • Rick Johnson

    Given that there is no credible evidence to support the Greens hypothesis that human activity is causing global warming and much evidence to support the hypothesis that it is a Great Big Green Con in pursuit of their agenda to de-industrialise the world, then we should be praising as heroes those who are standing up to the Greens’ anti-science and anti-prosperity agenda.

    • Corlyss

      You forget, Rick, this is a site run by academics who know better than us great unwashed.

      • FriendlyGoat

        So, why are you here? George Will, Cal Thomas, Rush and others would be delighted to have your undivided attention.

  • Corlyss

    “Green dreams are running headlong into harsh economic realities in Brussels next week.”

    Everywhere except here. As soon as the election is past, Doofus is going to unleash EPA to destroy what’s left of the coal industry and the oil and gas industries in America. Facts and reason have no meaning to that cretin and his puppet masters.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    “Global Warming” is BS, and all the greens know this or they would be pushing for carbon dioxide free nuclear energy. It’s said that environmentalists are watermelons, green on the outside and red in the middle. So what they are really after is to destroy capitalist civilization, and have a decimated human population living in squalor in caves.

  • Donald Campbell

    The biggest problem with this accord is that ultimately, renewable energy is a pipe dream. Hydroelectric is great, except all the good places to dam up have already been done. Solar is, at best a 50% proposition, and wind power is intermittent. Now the USA, with vast amounts of ‘fly-over’ country could have wind co-exist with corn fields. Europe has no such luxury.
    The transmission of power from windy/sunny places to where it is needed is problematical, and riddled with inefficiencies. If we had room-temperature superconductors it would be workable, otherwise less so. But such technology, along with some of the technologies already in use for renewable power also have environmental concerns that open the door for unintended consequences.
    If eastern Europe is balking at the draconian measures required to reduce CO2, how can it possibly be operated in India and China, along with the rest of the developing world?

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