by awitherick on 23 March, 2011
European Commission proposals on energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 have been criticised by ALDE (the group the Liberal Democrats are in in Europe) spokespersons for energy and environment.
We’ve included this article to highlight why the European Union has a positive role in encouraging countries to invest in the environment- Clouds don’t just stop at our borders!
Commenting on the Commission’s Energy Efficiency Plan 2011 and the Roadmap for moving to a low carbon economy in 2050 to be adopted today, Lena Ek (Centre Party, Sweden), ALDE spokesperson on the Industry, Research and Environment Committee, said:
“The Commission admits that we are about to be leapfrogged by emerging economies such as China and India, which invest 48% and 35% of their GDP in the low carbon technologies and infrastructure, compared to Europe’s meagre 19%. Yet the Commission is not prepared to put more ambitious proposals for our energy future on the table. The proposal for an additional investment rate of 1.5% is good, but more substantial increases are necessary.
“It is peculiar that the Commission does not propose cutting greenhouse gases by 30% by 2020 when its own calculations clearly show that is more cost effective to reduce emissions sooner, in particular by making energy savings. All the arguments are there, but they simply refuse to put the proposals forward.”
Chris Davies (Lib Dem, UK), ALDE spokesperson on the Environment Committee added:
“The Commission has today demonstrated all the courage and conviction of a rabbit caught in headlights and about to be run over.
“With fuel prices rising and set to stay high energy efficiency targets should be made legally binding now. Not to insist upon this, amounts to a betrayal of Europe’s interests.”
“Short term concerns have been put before the needs of our long term future. European development has been condemned to stay in the slow lane, certain to be overtaken by the fast lane Asian economies.
“By opting for complacency and delay we could hardly have been let down more if the Commissioners were acting on behalf of the Chinese Government.”