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EU Defies Brexit To Force Greenhouse Gas Targets On UK

July 21, 2016

By Paul Homewood 




This news seems to have slipped out under the radar. At least I don’t recall the BBC or Telegraph picking up on it.

Breitbart however report:


(AFP) – The EU unveiled national targets Wednesday for cutting greenhouse gases by 2030, insisting Britain is still legally required to help the bloc meet its UN goal despite being set to leave.

Wealthy northern European countries including Britain bear the brunt of the EU’s plans to meet the commitment it made at the Paris climate summit in December to cut emissions by 40 percent over 1990 levels.

Despite Britain’s shock referendum vote last month for Brexit, the European Commission included it on its list of proposed binding emissions targets for all 28 EU countries.

“These targets are realistic, fair and flexible,” EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete told a press conference, adding that the targets would become legally binding if and when approved by member states.

Under the targets, which are based on economic growth, Sweden and tiny Luxembourg must cut emissions by 40 percent over 2005 levels, while Finland and Denmark must cut emissions by 39 percent and powerhouse Germany by 38 percent.

Britain and France are asked to cut emissions by 37 percent while Netherlands and Austria should cut by 36 percent.

“Let’s be very clear: from a legal point of view the outcome of the referendum has not changed anything,” Spain’s Canete said when asked whether the proposed targets would have to be readjusted following Britain’s exit.

“The UK (United Kingdom) remains a member state with all the rights and obligations for member states and EU law continues to apply in full to the UK,” he said.

New British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has yet to initiate the exit negotiations but has promised to follow through with the process that could take several years.

– ‘Astoundingly out-of-synch’ –

In contrast, poorer eastern and southern EU countries are asked to contribute far less to the targets, despite the fact that they often rely more heavily on dirtier fossil fuels.

Bulgaria, the poorest state in the bloc, was given an emissions reductions target of zero percent, while Romania, Latvia, Croatia, Poland, Hungary and Lithuania are all set below 10 percent.

Poland in particular gets off lightly given its reliance on coal-fired power stations.

Canete added that the targets offer incentives for investment in sectors like transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management.

The system allows for flexibility. Member states can reduce emissions jointly across a range of sectors and over time.

Despite it being denounced as a loophole by environmentalists, they can also transfer cheap carbon credits from the Emissions Trading System, the world’s largest, and use forests, which absorb carbon, to count towards their emissions reduction goal.

The ETS puts a cap on carbon dioxide emitted by large factories and other companies, which can trade in quotas of these emissions.

The non-government organisation World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said the proposals fall short of the ambitions Brussels set at the Paris summit, which calls for holding global warming to well under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

“Not only is the Commission astoundingly out-of-synch with international climate commitments, but it has also included ‘loopholes’ in this proposal which will allow countries to cheat their way out of real climate action,” said Imke Luebbeke, head of climate and energy at the WWF European Policy Office.

The proposals will be debated by the member states and the European Parliament.


The 2030 target of a 37% from 2005 levels for the UK equates to 54% from 1990, according to latest emissions data from DECC. This is broadly in line with the Fifth Carbon Budget, now legislated, which demands a cut of 57% for the period 2028-32.

As I have pointed out previously, the EU target is only a 40% from 1990. The EU have squared this circle by allowing for much smaller reductions, well below 40%, from the poorer eastern and southern countries.

This is, of course, a typical EU fudge, as countries such as Poland had already made it clear that they would not accept a cut of 40%.

  1. markl permalink
    July 21, 2016 4:35 pm

    The EU still doesn’t get it. Dictates from Brussels is a major reason Brexit occurred. What are they going to do? Throw a hissy fit, call them names, and shame them for destroying the world? Punitive measures will backfire and they know it.

  2. DMA permalink
    July 21, 2016 4:49 pm

    It looks like the EU is going tryingto show the UK what taxation without representation is all about.

  3. Tom O permalink
    July 21, 2016 5:08 pm

    Since the people chose sovereignty, it seems that regardless of so called “legal bounds” to the EU, it should be time from Britain to “act sovereign.” It is time for the government to say “we will work with you in our interests, not for you in yours.” It would be convenient to continue to trade basically with the continent, but in truth, wider, worldly markets might be far more profitable and self satisfying in the end. The EU and the US are not truly alike. The states that existed at the time of the creation of the US, were not independent, sovereign entities, whereas at the creation of the EU, they were. I will not understand ever why a nation would permit its own best interests to be subjugated to the decisions of a “sovereign” overlord. That is why I do not like the way the UN has gone as well – it seeks to be the sovereign overlord of the world.

  4. John F. Hultquist permalink
    July 21, 2016 7:16 pm

    There are various international agreements that impinge on sovereign aspects and, apparently, more in the works.
    I found this interesting:

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is yet to be but seems to contain similar things:

  5. Peter MacFarlane permalink
    July 22, 2016 10:02 am

    So we just say “yeah, yeah, whatevs” until we really are not EU members any more, and then we give them the finger.


  6. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 22, 2016 11:23 am

    We still have the fundamental problem that the UK government is chock full of Greens in DEFRA and BEIS. We need a department for Clixit, led by people who will extricate us from these follies.

  7. July 22, 2016 11:26 am

    This is partly our fault, we should have executed sec. 50 immediately. and then made our intentions clear on the main two points which are none negotiable. 1. We are in charge of our borders and will decide who can enter the country. Existing Residents who are former EU members are perfectly safe to remain presuming they are here legally and do not have criminal convictions or are wanted for crime and have a clean bill of health on condition the same applies to UK citizens in the EU
    2. We will allow EU countries to sell good and services to the UK without imposing any tax provided you will do the same to good and services we sell to you.
    How come so called intelligent Leaders are making such a big fuss about it all. This could all be agreed in one short meeting. No negotiating, no haggling, agree or get lost.
    Tom Butcher
    Founder Conservatives against the EU/ The People against the EU later all part of Vote Leave

  8. avro607 permalink
    July 23, 2016 8:20 pm

    Spot on Tom.

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