EU will take a final decision on the new policy framework on climate change no later than October 2014

The European Council concluded last week that they will take a final decision on the new policy framework on climate change “no later than October 2014”.

The decision means that the EU is “not giving up its ambitions on climate change”, said European Council leader Herman van Rompuy, but activists have said that the delay is a big setback in the push for an ambitious international climate deal in 2015.

Commission President Barroso said that the “good discussions” within the Council supported the Commission proposal that Europe should strive to achieve a 40% cut in greenhouse gases by 2030. “It is not yet an agreement on all the elements of the proposal the Commission made, but it is clearly an endorsement of the European Commission proposal as the basis for our policy of the future,” he said, adding that he felt “encouraged”.

The result appears to be victory for Polish President Donald Tusk, whose country one of the EU’s highest CO2 polluters and is heavily reliant on coal for electricity, and a blow for the 13-strong Green Growth Group, which includes France, Germany and the UK.

The outcome is a disappointment to those who were hoping for the EU to deliver a stronger message of ambition ahead of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s climate summit in September. Pa Ousman Jarju, a Gambian diplomat who is an envoy for the Least Developed Countries bloc at UN talks, told RTCC the decision could affect the EU’s influence at international negotiations.

Business leaders also say the delay will make clean energy investments tougher – at least in the short term.

But Thomas Becker, chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) suggested the delay could offer a faint silver lining. “This extra time could be a golden opportunity – for pro-renewables countries like Germany, Denmark and Portugal to rally round and start fighting for greater ambition for renewables and the energy security they bring,” he said.

 

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