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New Report – Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policies in Europe and the United States

IEEP and our partner, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have published a report on “Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policies in Europe and the United States”. This report includes the main conclusions of our joint project – Transatlantic Platform for Action on the Global Environment (T-PAGE) which began in December 2006.

T-PAGE has provided a platform for debate to stimulate dialogue and exchange of experiences between environmental NGOs, academia and other interested civil society organisations in the EU and U.S. on the most salient issues on the political agenda. The project has been co-funded by the European Commission within the framework of a programme to promote transatlantic dialogues at the non-governmental level.

This report includes the series of research papers produced during the course of the project on U.S. and EU actions on climate change and energy. The papers include summaries of European and U.S policies on climate change and energy; an analysis of the EU Emission Trading Scheme (ETS); a summary of the current state of U.S. policy on cap and trade; a summary of policy approaches to promoting biofuels on both sides of the Atlantic; and an analysis of EU and U.S. public perceptions of the environment and climate change.

The project culminated in a major conference held in Washington DC in April 2008. At this conference participants reached a number of conclusions on two key issues with respect to climate change and sustainable energy policies. Firstly, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector must be addressed as a priority in overall climate policy through a broad mix of policy tools. Complementary and comprehensive strategies on both sides of the Atlantic are needed in order to improve the sustainability of transport. Secondly, there exist discrepancies in the motives behind the use of biofuels in the U.S and Europe. The spread of biofuels in the United States is motivated chiefly by energy security concerns and in support of farmers whereas the EU views biofuels as an element in the fight against climate change. A common strategy based on a combination of perspectives which include climate change, efficiency, resource availability and scarcity, food security, and sustainability is recommended. Furthermore, it is seen as essential to undergo a critical evaluation of the impact of biofuel production methods and outputs on the environment. This implies focusing on the sustainability of global agricultural systems.

Download report: “Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Policies in Europe and the United States”

For further information on the T-PAGE project, please visit the project website

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