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Commission launches a new climate change programme

The European Commission has launched a new climate change programme with the adoption of two initiatives on 8 March, advocating a twin-track approach for reducing emissions to meet targets set by the 1997 Kyoto protocol.

These are based on a Green Paper on emissions trading w...
The European Commission has launched a new climate change programme with the adoption of two initiatives on 8 March, advocating a twin-track approach for reducing emissions to meet targets set by the 1997 Kyoto protocol.

These are based on a Green Paper on emissions trading which foresees the setting up of an emission trading system within the EU for the energy sector and big industrial installations, as well as targeted measures to reduce emissions from specific sources.

The latest data show that carbon dioxide emissions are increasing rather than decreasing, indicating that much more effort is needed if the EU is to meet its Kyoto targets of reducing emissions by 8% in the next 8 to 12 years as compared to 1990. The Commission is therefore now underlining the need to reinforce reduction policies and measures across all sectors of the EU economy and is hoping that the new programme will give fresh impetus to attempts to reduce greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.

Presenting the two documents, European Commissioner for the Environment, Margot Wallström said:

'I am very satisfied to see both the Communication and the Green paper adopted together, because the key to meeting our Kyoto commitments is not to concentrate on one or the other sector, or one or the other instrument, but to take action simultaneously on a broad range of emission sources. This is why we have decided to launch a European Climate Change programme and the Community's implementation strategy'.

The European Climate Change Programme (dubbed ECCP) establishes a multi-stakeholder consultative process (including Member States experts, industry and green non-governmental organisations, besides the different Commission services) focused on the key areas for emission reduction. A number of technical working groups will be set up to undertake preparatory work on the basis of which the Commission can develop policy proposals in areas such as energy, transport, industrial gases and emissions trading.

The Communication also includes a list of potential EU policies and measures which could be developed under the ECCP, to be discussed by the Commission and the Council of Ministers.

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