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MEPs to back plans for low carbon economy

by awitherick on 14 March, 2012

The European Parliament is expected on Thursday (March 15) to endorse the Commission’s low carbon ‘Roadmap’ by a large majority.

The document provides a policy framework for the European Union to achieve an 80-95% reduction in its CO2 emissions by 2050.

Its formal endorsement by EU governments was last week blocked at the Environment Council by Poland, which argued against the setting of interim targets or milestones, although the overwhelming majority have signalled their support.

Cross-party support from MEPs will be welcomed by the Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, who will argue that it strengthens her authority to bring forward practical proposals for achieving the objective.

DAVIES_90.jpgRapporteur Chris Davies, a British Liberal Democrat (ALDE) MEP, argues that the EU needs to adopt   a clear strategy in order to promote industrial investment.

He said: “Climate change is not currently top of the political agenda but a long term approach is needed to combat it.  The more we do now the easier it will be in the future.

“Europe cannot solve the world’s problems by itself but changes are inevitable.  Either we take a lead in promoting a low carbon economy or we will get left behind.”

“This is not a threat but an opportunity to promote investment and stimulate technological innovation.  It will leave Europe stronger not weaker.”

The Parliament is likely to recognise that the EU Emission’s Trading System (ETS) is failing to promote low carbon investments.  MEPs will invite the Commission to consider setting aside some of the surplus carbon allowances, a measure likely to prevent their price sinking lower.

Approval will also be given to a call for the Commission to propose increasing the target for reducing emissions included within the ETS above the present requirement of 1.74% annually.

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