Europe’s Climate Commissioner has warned Europe to take notice of China’s performance in overtaking the EU in production for the renewable energy market. She is stoking new debate between industry and environmentalists with talk of cutting Europe’s CO2 output.
Sectors such as steel say even though the global economic lurch has helped reduce the cost of meeting emission targets, deeper cuts now would be absurd.
Connie Hedegaard said ‘look over your shoulder’:
“You can not imagine how fast things are moving out there, whether we are talking buildings, railways, mobile phones, whatever we are talking they are being developed at almost surreal speed, and this goes for the clean sector as well. There is not doubt to me that Beijing has realised that this is the business of the 21st century and by the way, it goes for countries such as Korea and Brazil as well.”
Hedegaard presented a cost-benefit analysis of deepening carbon emission cuts from 20 percent by 2020 to 30 percent. When the goal was set two years ago the cost estimate for a 20 percent cut was 70 billion euros per year. This has morphed to 48 billion per year.
She said: “It will be for the European politicians, the member states, the European Council to decide whether and when to move to 30 percent.”
Germany has alread poured cold water on lowering emissions by 30 percent, and the European Alliance of high-energy consuming industries categorically opposed any unilateral increase of the EU’s carbon cuts.