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 Wednesday, 15 October 2008
European leaders timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package today

European leaders are timetabled to sign the EU's climate and energy package at the EU Summit today, Wednesday 15 October 2008. Under the terms of the plan approved by Parliament last week, faster pricing of emissions allowances could be adopted to encourage cleaner, greener industry - power stations will have to buy their pollution allowances from 2013 (instead of getting any for free) and heavy industry permits will be phased out from 2013. Offsets were cut significantly, and bold new longer-term targets of 50% emissions reductions by 2035 and 60-80% by 2050 were set. For the first time, an emissions ceiling was set to stop dirty coal-fired power and significant funds were allocated to help developing countries go green, as well as research into carbon capture.

The EU's climate and energy package proposes key reforms to the emissions trading scheme after 2012, measures to cut non-industrial emissions, and the creation of a legal framework to promote technology to capture and store carbon from coal-fired power stations. However, recent concerns over the financial crisis have threatened to push the climate and energy package down the policy agenda and approval by European leaders is not yet guaranteed. 

To be continued...