Some remarkable statements about the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions performance in an official EU document by Eija-Riitta Korhola, Vice-Chair of Kokoomus (Finnish National Coalition Party), and EPP (EU center-right party grouping) Rapporteur on Energy Policy and Member of the European Parliament:
“[T]he EU’s political decisions and rhetoric are sound but their implementation is becoming problematic.”“The truth is that unless something radical is devised the EU will soon have to admit that it cannot achieve its Kyoto goals.”“Now that the internal emissions trading regime in Europe has been in effect for more than a year and a half, most of the European stakeholders in energy intensive industries are remarkably unanimous about the whole system being a mistake. In the beginning of 2006, the German steel industry demanded that trading be interrupted. Many companies have given rising costs, deriving from the emissions trading, as the reason for closing down factories and moving production elsewhere. The biggest problem in emissions trading is considered to be the effect on electricity prices…Legislators are slow to admit that they made a mistake. Only last December in Montreal, the European emissions trading system was introduced as a fine example of the successful European climate policy.”“How can Europe make mistakes like these? One reason lies in the former Commission’s addiction to directives; they wanted to be in control, as if they were parents of the European family.”“After one and a half years of experience, the EU ETS is an immature and volatile market…The result of the EU ETS is a massive redistribution of income from power intensive industries to power generators. The price of electricity increases because of the increased marginal costs of producing power. For further long-term energy investments, this kind of market environment is difficult. There continues to be uncertainty about how the market will develop and how the problems will be fixed. It is because of this that the EU’s energy selfsufficiency can be expected to weaken further.”“The UK prides itself on emission reductions in the 1990s but that was simply because gas largely replaced coal in the UK’s energy mix.”“The Montreal meeting one year later did not make much progress either. The most important topic of the Montreal meeting was to define the post-Kyoto guidelines, which take effect after 2012. In public, the results have been described as a success and as considerable progress, but in the light of practical results, there is no reason to celebrate. There was still no agreement on any binding targets for developing countries and it is hard to see why those growing economies would say yes to the restrictions.““In my own career as a legislator, I have never before seen a proposal for an EU directive so unfinished and incomplete as the emissions trading directive of 2001. The plan, which was to be the basis of the whole European economy, its competition and climate strategy, had huge gaps in it. Hardly any theoretical studies had been carried out on the impact of emissions trading yet Europe stepped into this unknown in a tremendous hurry.”
Home truths from an honest legislator. Those who say America should match Europe’s actions should consider them carefully.