IEEP welcomes the European Commission’s policy package on climate and energy, but we consider that this is only a first step on a long road to delivering what is needed to tackle the problems of climate change.
Our key comments on the package are:
- The 20 per cent commitment for greenhouse gas emission reductions should be regarded as a minimum at best, given that the EU has offered to achieve a 30 per cent reduction by 2020 in international negotiations.
- Biofuel production must not lead to unintended environmental damage or social impacts. Sustainability criteria need to be vigorous and those presented by the Commission are clearly inadequate. However, simply reducing or throwing out the 10 per cent biofuel target is not the appropriate response.
- Any target for biofuels must be accompanied by stringent measures to make vehicles more fuel efficient; it is simply a waste of hard won resources to pour biofuels into inefficient vehicles.
- Business asked for emission trading and lessons from the EU scheme show that it must provide real incentives to reduce carbon emissions.
- Carbon capture and storage has to be made workable now if we are to build new coal fired power stations; CCS cannot remain a ‘technology of the future’ while coal power enjoys a renaissance now.