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European Manufacturers Rally Against 30% Reduction in GHG Emissions

emissions-6The Alliance for a Competitive European Industry (ACEI), comprised of European manufacturing companies with a combined €5 trillion ($7 trillion) turnover a year, sent an open letter to the European Council, European Parliament and European Commissions, expressing their opposition to greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of 30 percent until other major economies have also made substantial and binding commitments.

The EU, along with all other developed countries, has to file its climate change targets with the United Nations by Jan. 31, a deadline agreed at December’s Copenhagen summit, reports EuropeanVoice.com.

Gordon Moffat, EUROFER’s director general states in a press release that the EU said it would only move to a 30 percent cut if binding measures were met by other countries, and no other countries have followed Europe. He also said the EU’s climate change policy would further hurt the industry’s competitiveness, citing as an example the steel industry, which has to reduce its emissions in 2020 compared to 1990 levels by more than 40 percent due to ETS.

Both Reuters and EuropeanVoice.com are reporting that the European Union will agree to its current offer in U.N. talks to cut emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 but will raise it if other countries follow suit, according to a draft EU letter to top U.N. official Yvo de Boer, seen by Reuters.

The letter will be sent to the U.N if approved by all 27 EU states, reports Reuters.

France and the UK have been pushing the EU to increase its target emissions reduction to 30 percent compared to 1990 levels, while Poland and Italy have called for the EU to keep the 20 percent target, reports EuropeanVoice.com. Deputy Ambassadors from the member states have decided that the EU target should remain unchanged at 20 percent, with an offer to go to 30 percent if other developed countries make similar efforts, according to the article.

In the UK, the EU’s 30 percent cut translates into 42 percent, which the UK Environmental Audit Committee is urging the government to adopt, reports BBC.

However, the CBI believes the unilateral 30 percent, though opening up opportunities for low-carbon firms, will have a negative impact on energy-intensive manufacturers, reports BBC.

The German government confirmed that Germany would adopt a unilateral 40 percent target, reports BBC.

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