Monday, January 28, 2008

European Union Proposing New Global Warming Plan

The European Union plans to establish firm caps on emissions by 27 countries designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 20 % below 1990 levels between 2013 and 2020. The reduction would be increased to 30 % if the United States and China signed binding climate change agreements. Of course this will not happen. This plan will auction 60 percent of the emissions permits initially and all of them by 2020. The previous cap-and-trade system did not auction credits. At least 20 % of E.U. energy has to be derived from renewable sources, including 10 percent from biofuels. The measures are similar to provisions to the Lieberman/Warner cap-and-trade bill, which would mandate a reduction by 2020 of about 20 percent below greenhouse gas emissions in 2005. The E.U. plan must still be approved by the European Parliament.

The Bush administration is hosting a second meeting of large economies this month in Honolulu, Hawaii to discuss initiatives on global warming. The administration also participated in the "Bali Roadmap" meeting organized by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2007 that is negotiating a new, post Kyoto Protocol (ends 2012) climate change agreement by 2009. The Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007 is projected to eliminate 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases because it raised auto fuel efficiency to 35 mpg. The U.S. and the E.U. have also proposed to the WTO to eliminate tariff and non-tariff trade barriers to clean technologies and services. The administration is working with Australia, India and China via the Asia-Pacific Partnership to promote technologies to reduce global warming.

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