Will the EU pioneer climate protection?
The European Commission wants to do more to cut CO2 emissions, adopting a new target of reducing greenhouse gases by 45 instead of 40 percent compared to 1990 by 2030. According to EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete all that is needed to achieve this is for current EU resolutions to be implemented. For commentators, however, the EU still isn't doing enough for climate protection.
Good, but not good enough
At least the measure is headed in the right direction, Deutschlandfunk comments:
“Because to reach these more demanding climate objectives the EU wouldn't even have to pass new regulations on more economical electrical appliances or more wind turbines. It would be enough to take the existing resolutions on greater use of renewable energies like solar and wind energy and improved energy-efficiency seriously. On this score the EU set higher targets in June, and against this background more ambitious emissions targets would be only logical. ... But further steps are needed. Because to reach the Paris climate goals, CO2 emissions must be lowered to practically zero by the middle of the century at the latest - and by these standards the climate policy not only of the EU is more than hesitant.”
Our economy is to blame
All the regulations in the world won't mean a thing without a more climate-friendly economic policy, writes Alain Coulombel, deputy national secretary of the French Green Party, in Mediapart:
“On the European level we must champion an economy based on rationing resources: simpler technologies (the so-called low-techs, which are easy to repair and locally available); sounder investment planning; and a move away from the growth myth, which both covers up and denies the gravity of the situation. Currently none of the EU's political priorities goes in this direction. ... What is necessary is to slow down the flow of goods and services, reducing the role of consumerism, giving more weight to our soils than to our financial markets, and reducing the flow of tourism, which accounts for eight percent of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.”