European Commission firm on CO2 target

The European Commission (EC) is so far standing firm on its target for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 15% by 2010, despite the far weaker negotiating position adopted by the United States for the Kyoto climate change talks in December (page 20). The EC says benefits from implementing this policy would amount to ECU 55 billion or more for an investment of just ECU 15-35 billion, reports ENDS Environment Daily in its Internet news bulletin service. In an EC policy paper dealing with the practical implications of EU climate change policies, the Commission states the EU target "can be achieved without disruption of the economy, at low or zero costs." Transport and energy are the two sectors to which C02 abatement policies are being applied. Nonetheless, US state secretary Tim Wirth, speaking in London in September, said his government's view was that proposals for emission cuts of 15% or 20% over the next two decades are unrealistic.