EU climate deal approved by European Parliament

Brussels, 18 December 2008 – The European Parliament approved the climate and energy legislative package on December 17th, a week after EU leaders met and concluded their negotiations on the deal. 

The overall reaction was positive on the achievement, although some critical views were still present. Criticisms focused on what many viewed as a weakening of the package due to changes that the Parliament decided upon. The result is more lenient targets and commitments, an outcome of pressures exercised by certain member states that have large, carbon intensive heavy industries which would, under the tougher version of the package, face high compliance costs.

While some groups viewed the new developments as EU’s failing to push for more than the bare minimum others conceded that although more could be done, the agreement is a good starting point for EU’s future action plan to combat climate change.

The overall aim being to reduce EU’s GHG emissions by 20 percent by 2020, the package includes: targets for the reduction of GHG emissions from fuels and cars, setting up targets for member states to increase the overall renewable energy share of EU’s energy mix, setting up burden sharing targets, as well as promoting Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies for power plants and a proposal to adjust the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).

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