Long-term qualms

Published: Friday 15 April 2005

The eu has forced the uk to retract its move to permit more carbon emissions to its industries (see Down To Earth, 'Sly evasion', November 30, 2004, p 12). It recently refused to increase the country's allocation to 756 million tonnes from the 736 million tonnes applied for in its draft national allocation plan. On March 11, 2005, uk 's environment secretary Margaret Beckett announced that the country will proceed on the basis of the lower carbon allowance. While environmentalists welcomed the move, the industry was worried.

But Beckett also said the uk will take the European Commission (ec) to court to get the higher allocation. ec officials are, however, confident that the legal case against them is weak. Chris Davies, Democrat member of European parliament, claimed the move is "no more than a fig leaf designed to protect the government from attacks by the Confederation of British Industry before the general election".

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