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Negotiations continue over EU climate change plans

 Negotiations continue over EU climate change plans
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Black clouds are still looming over the EU climate change talks in Luxembourg.

Going into the last day, the majority of bloc members have reaffirmed their commitment to a 20 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 from 1990 levels.

But Italy, backed by several eastern European states, wants the proposals watered down.

The problem is the COST to industry, in the current financial climate. French Environment Minister Jean Louis Borloo said: “Everyone’s aim is to reach an agreement, taking the specifics into account, as well as the big difficulties of this or that state… but we have no mandate to postpone the deal.”

The deal is due to be finalised at a UN meeting in December. Italy’s Environment Minister has warned of a veto: “Lots of countries have voiced concerns about this raft of proposals. If we can reach an agreement taking all these concerns into consideration, then in December the plan will be approved, if not, it will be delayed.”

Meanwhile, Europe’s carmakers are to ask for 40 billion euros to help them meet new pollution standards.

The EU is keen to lead the way on tackling climate change. Latest research suggests it is increasing faster than predicted.