Posted by: bklunk | December 4, 2006

Trying to Make Kyoto Work

sdminky (what does that mean anyway?) looks at the Eu’s efforts to limit its production of GHGs.

EU Energy EbbingAs stated in the BBC article “EU embarks on tough carbon cuts,” the EU is attempting to cut down on its carbon levels through the European Trading Scheme (ETS) in order to meet the Kyoto Proposal requests of cutting emissions by 8%% from the 1990 levels. The EU is trying very hard to meet the target and help the environment, but many of the EU states are not as excited to reach the goals.

Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania, and other nations are complaining that the new limits that the ETS has set are unacceptable. Each state has an individual amount that ranges from a single-digit percentage all the way to one-half times the amount. On average, carbon permits cut about 7%. Although the EU accepted Britain’s carbon limit, all the other nations were unable to get their requested amounts and are currently very upset. Several of these countries are upset because they realize that companies and firms might raise the prices on their products for consumers. According to the new measures taken, firms are meant to have a financial motive to cut emissions. Heavy polluters, notably power firms, are now obliged to own the right to emit each metric tonne of carbon dioxide they produce. Depending on their needs, they can buy or sell permits. Trading carbon should enable firms to cut emissions at the lowest price. If limits are tightened, then carbon credits, which can be bought or sold, will gain in value. But if it is more expensive for firms, it will be more expensive for consumers when they buy the end result which must cost extra for the energy used. Currently 10 nations, the UK, Ireland, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania,
Luxembourg, Malta, Slovakia, Sweden, and France are to decrease their carbon levels. However, France has withdrawn its plan
for carbon allowances and will submit a tougher outline in a number of
weeks (said by a French environment ministry spokeswoman). The ETS hopes that this plan will help tackle the global warming and fulfill the target of the Kyoto Protocol. Critics of the plan say that the overall effect of the EU action will not have much of an effect on the overall problem, and member states want to challenge the limits in European court. However, the ETS is still trying to make it happen in hopes that it will benefit the EU and the world.

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Responses

  1. I think its importatnt that the EU tries to honor the Kyoto protocol. Cutting down on CO2 admissions is an important inciative that I wish the US would sign on to. Even if the critics are right that the EU’s effort wont have much effect, its still a step in the right direction.

  2. I think that the allocation of permits is a good way to hold companies accountable for releasing emissions. It seems to have been effective in the U.S. so I would imagine it would be successful in Europe as well. However, it is disappointing to see that so many countries are unhappy with the proposed solution. Overtime these standards will cause a major decrease in pollution worldwide. The fear of the cost being passed on to the consumer is a valid concern, however, in the long run it is going to cost the consumer a lot less to fix the problem now, rather than later when drastic and costly changes will be required to restore the environment.


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