Deep cracks are appearing in Europe’s bid to set the global pace on fighting climate change, with the Italians and Poles saying proposed measures are too costly.
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denied on Sunday Italy was isolated in Europe because of its stance. It all follows last week’s comments by Europe’s environmental commissioner, who said he was “astonished” at Berlusconi’s costing of climate change measures for Italy at 20 billion euros, when the European Commission’s figures suggest a bill of 13 billion.
Berlusconi claims nine other EU members want more time to study the proposals, and Italy is not isolated. Last week he threatened to veto the European Climate Plan, along with the Poles.
Their Prime Minister Donald Tusk also believes cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 2020 by a fifth will hurt heavy industry too much. Poland is also particularly vulnerable in energy, as most of its electricity is from coal-fired power stations, one of the biggest sources of greenhouse gas.