Climate battle in Europe

Publish date: November 6, 2008

Written by: Anne Karin Sæther

Translated by: Ola Innset

While countries like Italy and Poland try to stop the new EU climate agreement, Bellona is working hard to make the EU decide on an ambitious climate plan before Christmas break.

The battle to land an EU climate agreement is toughening. Italy and a number of Eastern European countries are blaming the financial crisis and say that the measures planned by the EU are much too costly.

France, on the other hand, is fighting to get the so called climate and energy package approved while the country still holds the chair of the EU. On the January 1st, France will hand the EU chairmanship to the Czech Republic.

Fears the package will be watered down
In December, the European Council, in which all EU countries are represented, will vote on the concrete suggestions of the climate and energy package. Bellona worries that the demand for unanimity in the Council, and the reluctance of Italy and Poland might lead to a watering down of the ambitious propositions.

That is why Bellona has been working vigorously in the past days to inform national EU politicians and other significant stakeholders of the importance of ambitious climate measures, and the need for urgent action.

Controversial suggestion
During the last few weeks, Bellona has focused its efforts on carbon capture and storage (CCS).

A lot of the attention in Brussels is centered upon how the European Council will vote on the key issues around CCS, such as the proposal to make CCS mandatory, or the proposal to use a small percentage of the incomes from the emissions trade scheme to finance the first CCS projects.

Bellona visits coal countries
Together with partners from businesses and other organisations, Bellona is now visiting important stakeholders to inform them about CCS. Bellona has given lectures and provided other information.

The countries visited are mainly the ones who rely heavily on coal as an energy source, and who have demonstrated some skepticism towards CCS, like Poland and Germany.
Bellona President Frederic Hauge to be the last speaker
Bellona’s office in Brussels, Bellona Europa, is working actively with CCS, meeting with Members of the European Parliament, businesses, organizations, and others who may play a role in the negotiations leading up to the vote.

The European Technology Platform on Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants (ZEP), holds its general assembly on Monday, November 10th, and the ongoing political debate about the climate and energy package will be a topic for discussion.

Bellona’s Hauge, is the vice chairman of the technology platform, and will give the closing remarks to the general assembly.

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