The Deepening Crisis of Europe’s Climate Policy
Benny Peiser, EUCERS — May 18, 2012 (From The Global Warming Policy Foundation)
The EU’s unilateral climate policies face a deepening crisis. Given the manifest reluctance of the world’s big emitters to accept any legally binding carbon targets and in face of our economic crisis, Europe should undertake a comprehensive review of its economically damaging climate and renewables targets and — in the absence of an international agreement — should consider the suspension of all unilateral policies that threaten Europe’s economic recovery.
Unilateral climate policies face a deepening crisis
Climate policy is no longer a big item on the EU’s agenda and the climate mania is gradually coming to an end after almost 20 years. Poland is vigorously blocking any new CO2 emission targets at EU level. There is growing support among Eastern European governments to block any new unilateral climate targets permanently.
In the past, Poland’s intractable hostility to green unilateralism was greeted by universal protestation in capitals around Europe. Today, it is hardly noticed by the media while green campaigners have become elderly and limp. Other and more pressing concerns are taking precedence and are completely overriding the green agenda.
As a result of the deadlock in Brussels, climate and green energy policies are facing a severe and deepening crisis. There is a growing risk that the EU’s unilateral strategy is hampering the economic recovery and, consequently, the future of European competitiveness.
Across Europe, the green agenda is becoming increasingly unpopular. Voters and energy intensive industries are ever more hostile to climate policies because they are inflating energy bills and heating costs. In light of global disagreement over the future of climate policy, hardly any European government is clamouring for green leadership. Even Germany and France no longer want to go it alone. Many European governments simply refuse to go beyond the 20 per cent emissions target.
It is becoming ever more evident that currently favoured solutions to climate change are not in themselves economically viable. What is more, the whole green agenda is confronted by rising doubt and criticism.
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