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EU Approves Climate Change Deal, Critics Say It’s Diluted

europe1.jpgEU negotiators have approved a climate change deal for industries outside the emissions-trading system that commits the 27-nation bloc to derive 20 percent of its energy from renewables, increase energy efficiency 20 percent, and reduce GHG emissions 20 percent.

Bloomberg reported that GHG emission targets range from a minimum 20 percent emission reduction for countries such as Denmark and Ireland to a maximum 20 percent increase for Bulgaria compared with 2005.

Under the deal, through 2013 to 2020, EU nations will be able to use foreign credits that are equal to up to 3 percent of their 2005 emissions to help meet the binding targets.

In order to reduce the cost of stricter domestic emissions caps, EU negotiators have also agreed to let energy and manufacturing companies import 11 percent more emission credits through 2020.

AFP reported that China welcomes the EU climate deal, but Su Wei, China’s top negotiator at the UN climate talks, told AFP that “Maybe some of the positions have been watered down compared to 2007.”

In addition, Wei says Obama’s plan to reduce US GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 was short of the mark established by the EU climate change deal.

It’s not just China that thinks the EU deal has been diluted. Sky News also reported that campaigners weren’t pleased with the deal. Many said the deal has been weakened and are concerned about the amount of emissions countries are allowed to off-set.

In November, Greenpeace campaigner Franziska Achterberg told Reuters that EU governments have made too many concessions for the auto industry in EU’s carbon plans.

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