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News, Press2008

Heads of State reach EU Climate deal

12.12.2008

At their Summit today, the EU Heads of State endorsed the 20% mandatory targets for renewables agreed on Tuesday and adopted a general principle of 100% auctioning of CO₂ allowances in the power sector. The two measures will be forceful drivers for Europe's wind power industry, according to the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA).

“The Heads of State commitment to domestic EU carbon reductions was watered down today, but the 27 mandatory national renewable energy targets, combined with an effective price on emitting carbon in the power sector, will give a boost to wind energy investments in Europe,” Christian Kjaer, CEO of EWEA, said.

"The EU has confirmed itself as the global leader in renewable energy, particularly wind, but is losing credibility and leadership in the fight against climate change. The CO₂ reductions agreed by Heads of State today will simply not bring about the necessary domestic reductions in greenhouse gases that scientists say we need," he said.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that to enable the global average temperature increase to be limited to not more than 2°C above pre-industrial levels, emissions in industrialised countries must be reduced by 25% to 40% by 2020.

The agreement made today allows for at least half of the reduction effort to be met by external credits in non-EU countries. It means that the domestic reductions to which Europe commits are closer to 8% (and would increase to approximately 12% if an international agreement is reached next year in Copenhagen). That is too far from science to be credible.

Whereas agreement has already been reached on the renewables energy legislation, the climate part of the package is still subject to final agreement by the European Parliament which should happen on Saturday.

Please also read EWEA's press release on the renewable directive agreement, issued last Tuesday: click here.

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