Aviation and shipping will be added to the European Union’s greenhouse gas reduction targets, under a proposal said to have been agreed by the environment ministers. The cuts would be by 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, over the next decade.
Current EU presiding nation Sweden, at talks in Luxembourg, made clear the bloc’s environmental ambitions remain robust. Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren said: “The EU supports an objective to reduce long term emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990.” The proposal on planes and ships will be presented in December at the UN Kyoto replacement talks in Copenhagen. This came a day after failing to agree on aid to help the world’s poorest countries adapt. Poland leads a group of nine poorer European countries demanding that they receive economic attention before the EU settles on a multi-billion euro aid pledge for the developing world. This remains to be worked out. German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel said: “One of the possibilities would have been to clarify the financial aspect but we did not agree on this.” Developing countries say they cannot cut carbon dioxide emissions and adapt to changing temperatures without help from the nations which grew powerful by burning fossil fuels and polluting the atmosphere. Greenpeace said EU divisions over spending on this made the “chance of failure in Copenhagen very real”.