Azara Blog: EU commissioners criticise Germany over CO2 emissions

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Date published: 2007/02/05

The BBC says:

European commissioners have criticised Germany for challenging a cap on its industrial CO2 emissions in 2008-12.

A German minister threatened legal action last month after the commission cut Germany's emission allocation in the EU carbon trading scheme.

Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said it would be "unfair" to tailor allocations to countries' wishes.

Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said Germany had to put its "nice speeches" into practice.

"If Germany blocks, the rest of Europe doesn't play along. And if Europe doesn't play along, neither does the rest of the world," he said in a weekend interview.

Mr Barroso said the commission had used the same calculation basis for Germany as it had for all the other states, and it would be inappropriate to give one country special treatment.

German Economy Minister Michael Glos threatened legal action in January, following the commission's decision to allow German industry to emit only 453m tonnes of CO2 per year, compared to the 482m tonnes Germany had proposed.

It would all be very amusing, if it wasn't such a serious issue. It is bizarre that a handful of EU commissioners can arbitrarily decide on these quotas (and the difference between 453 and 482 is 6%, so non-trivial). And the quotas are not a great idea, and in particular countries will partly get around them (at least in the short term) by closing factories and moving their emissions outside the EU (this only works if they either increase the output of their service export industries in compensation, or agree to be poorer).

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