EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

Australia = EU On Climate

  • July 12th, 2012
  • Posted by EUEditor

energy.jpgAustralia’s decision to introduce a carbon tax this year, gained positive feedback from around the world, writes Fallon Smith:

Australia only contributes approximately 2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions but the European Union (EU) has praised Australia specifically for supporting the EU position on climate change and implementing a long-term strategy.

The EU accepts the position held by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the Earth’s temperature is rising by 0.76% per year.

At the same time, the Kyoto Protocol, which set achievable targets of emission reduction for 39 countries or groupings, including Australia and the EU, is due to expire at the end of 2012.

That will mean the world is back to having no binding commitments on reducing “greenhouse” emissions, though governments from Beijing, to Canberra and Brussels, will still be making their own commitments.

For its part the European Union has been focusing on creating new and achievable long-term goals, looking forward to 2020 and 2050.

Those goals can be separated into two categories, mitigation (or prevention) and adaptation (or learning how to live with climate change).

Pia Ahren-Kilde Hansen, a spokesperson for the EU, identified that it had reached a new stage in implementing tighter emission standards for cars and vans by 2017.

Focusing on protecting the environment; saving consumers’ money and promoting innovation, these measures would help the EU achieve its goal of cutting all vehicle pollution by 20% by 2020.

Currently new cars and vans must emit less that 120 grams of pollution per kilometer, but that figure is now to be reduced to 95 grams per kilometer by the 2020 deadline.

The executive body the European Commission, hopes that those targets will encourage innovative ideas from industry, to help reach the targets and further reduce amount the emissions which cause climate change.

One senior official said this week, 11.7.12, it was recognized that climate change could not be reversed, and would not go away; it would just have to be managed.

The Stern Review of economics on climate change acknowledged that without action against it, climate change would continue to cost on average approximately 5% of a country’s GDP, predicted to reach 20% in the long term.

That will commit future generations to doing fresh research on the dynamics of climate change, and ways to contain it; to developing innovative renewable energy resources, and to deploying other techniques for reducing global green-house gas emissions.