Germany has warned that climate proposals set for unveiling in Brussels next week risk sapping Europe’s industries of their international competitive strength.
Representatives of big utilities, oil refiners and
industries such as steel and aluminium have warned that making them buy emissions permits at auction will force up energy prices and
could drive heavy industry out of Europe.
The European Commission’s main measure of national greenhouse gas emissions targets is gross domestic product per capita.
The richest EU countries will be expected to cut emissions by at least 20 percent in 2020 from 1990 levels.
The minister of the environment in Berlin, Sigmar Gabriel, addressing the lower parliament, said:
“In a country as rich as Germany, there cannot be an energy shortage. This also must be the goal of our climate policy.”
The proposals to meet ambitious targets set by leaders last March also aim to boost the use of renewable energy in power production.
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has said the member states will be treated fairly, recognising different circumstances:
“We knew from the very beginning that transforming Europe in a low carbon economy is not an easy task but it is the moment to be serious, responsible and coherent with our commitments.”
Other emissions cuts will have to come
from buildings, heating and cooling and transport.
Biofuels will be expected to account for 10 percent of transport fuel by the same 2020 target date.