Italy will veto new European greenhouse gas limits for 2020 unless it gets concessions, its environment minister said on Tuesday, suggesting the EU might wait a year before adopting new climate change policies. Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has called the plan unrealistic and his environment minister, Stefania Prestigiacomo, said Italy would reject it in its current form.
– Robin Pomeroy, Reuters, 25 November 2008
The feeling is that some countries want Europe to go it alone and that this position could have a decisive impact at the Copenhagen talks. There are different points of view. Maybe it would be more opportune to wait for the result of the Copenhagen conference to have everyone better encouraged to go forward in a quicker way.
– Stefania Prestigiacomo, Italian Environment Minister, 25 November 2008
German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the European Union on Wednesday not to water down its climate protection goals in the face of a global recession. “I say here very clearly that I do not believe it would be right to sacrifice the well-founded climate goals of the European Union,” Merkel told parliament during a debate on the federal budget.
– AFP, 26 November 2008
REALPOLITIK ALERT: Angela Merkel can hardly allow herself to be officially reneging on the EU climate bill that she personally boxed through — against vehement opposition — only 18 months ago. However, despite all the usual spin and rhetoric, it is becoming increasingly doubtful which of the EU’s climate goals Mrs Merkel wants to save and which she is ready to sacrifice. After all, Mrs Merkel’s own parliamentary party, the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU), have called upon her to veto the EU climate bill unless major exemptions for German industry and energy companies are agreed by the rest of the EU.
– Benny Peiser, 26 November 2008
Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) is coming under growing pressure by her own party to reject the EU climate bill unless there will be far-reaching exemptions for the German industry and energy providers. In a position paper presented yesterday, the leadership of the parliamentary Christian Democrats demands that all sectors of the producing industries should be exempt completely from the emissions trading scheme.
– Handelsblatt, 25 November 2008
Europe is unlikely to achieve its renewable energy ambitions, which would cost about €500bn, according to a new study.
– Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, 25 November 2008
The EU has failed to reach agreement on new rules to cut car emissions after a day of talks foundered over the issue of penalties to be levied on non-complying automakers, officials said on Tuesday. Talks between the EU French Presidency, the European Commission and the European Parliament on the package were brought to a close overnight without a compromise plan being agreed, German conservative euro MP Werner Langen said.
– AFP, 25 November 2008
China and India next week will spearhead calls for rich nations to dig into their pockets to tackle climate change but will resist targeted curbs on their own carbon emissions, sources say.
– Times of India, 26 November 2008
The negative effects of global warming have been well-documented by activist politicians and scientists such as Al Gore and David Suzuki, but the positive effects have so far received less attention. But a group of global-warming experts, made up mainly of university economists and anthropologists, is pushing the notion that global warming might not be an unmitigated disaster, especially for certain northerly regions, such as Canada, Russia and Scandinavia.
– David Staples, Canwest News Service, 24 November 2008