Stepping on the gas

Published: Sunday 29 February 2004

The eu is seeking to produce 20 per cent of the world's renewable energy by 2020. The target was set at 'Intelligent Policy Options', a European conference on the subject that was held in Berlin, Germany.

Though expressing satisfaction that the declaration made a commitment, environmentalists have accused eu transport and energy commissioner Loyola de Palacio of being "anti-renewables" and "obsessed with nuclear energy".

It is felt that the next step would be to bring the rest of the world on board at the oncoming World Renewable Energy Conference in Bonn. But this may not be easy. The eu had made a futile push for a global target at the 2002 Johannesburg summit on sustainable development. While some key developed nations like the us are shying away from making commitments to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, developing countries still view fossil fuels and nuclear energy as key sources for meeting their energy needs.

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