Don’t let West carry carbon burden, urge EU firms

  • Date: 12/12/09

The Sunday Times: Business leaders at the United Nations climate-change summit in Copenhagen are pushing European nations not to bow to pressure from developing nations to increase targets for greenhouse-gas cuts. Executives at the summit say firms will be left at a competitive disadvantage if the European Union forces industry to slash emissions while competitors in China and India are given more leeway.

Business Europe, an industry lobby group, has warned against raising the target to cut greenhouse-gas emissions from 20% to 30% unless rival economies also commit themselves to similar targets. China has agreed to cut its emissions per unit of economic output 40% over the next decade, but this is not the same as actually limiting pollution.

“In the absence of a global agreement, the EU must not increase in any way its current carbon-reduction requirement,” said Business Europe.

This has infuriated green-interest groups. Oxfam has called on the CBI to dissociate itself publicly from Business Europe. The CBI said, however, that it agreed with Business Europe’s view. “It may be right to move to a 30% emissions cut, but the challenge is bringing other countries to match that level of ambition,” said the CBI’s Neil Bentley.

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