EU's energy plan offers relief to eastern nations

Published: Friday 29 February 2008

-- (Credit: EU)the European Union has come up with a new energy plan. It envisages reducing emissions by 20 per cent by 2020. eu will convert a fifth of its energy to renewable energy and biofuels by then. On January 23, eu's executive arm announced mandatory target for biofuels. They will supply 10 per cent of all road fuel. European Commission president Jos Manuel Barroso, said: "Our mission is to provide the right policy framework for transformation to an environment-friendly European economy."

The new plans, however, exempted some of the new members from eastern Europe from emission cuts. eu's executive body feels subjecting them to emission targets will hold back economic development there. But it asked the uk to increase its energy from renewable sources by sevenfold.

The eu has decided to extend its emissions trading system (ets) to new sectors. The scheme is expected to help reduce 60 per cent of total carbon emissions cuts. Carbon trading is now confined to power generators and refineries, but will also cover airlines and industries such as cement and steel. Eurelectric, the union of the electricity industry, however, said the changes to ets would hike electricity prices.

While environmental campaigners said the target was weak, the European Environmental Bureau (eeb) said there were a number of loopholes that needed to be fixed. "If this goes through, eu will miss the opportunity to shift to a low carbon economy that both industry and governments talk about," said John Hontelez, eeb's secretary-general.

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