Thursday, January 23, 2014

European Union Takes A Step Backwards On Environmental Leadership

Europe has been the leader in the battle against climate change.  The new rules announced by the European Union is a major step backwards.  Its new rule for expanding the use of renewable energy will be very difficult to enforce.  Instead of setting targets for individual countries, which can be enforced, it set a target for Europe.  That will result in uneven efforts and bickering between countries. Perhaps this was the best deal that could be made among 28 nations that have different priorities.  Europe has higher energy costs than other nations against whom it competes economically.  Many of the nations within the Union have serious economic problems as well.  It is more difficult for Europe to maintain its leadership against climate change under these conditions.  Especially when the US and China, which are the largest polluting nations, have been less aggressive in the battle.  Its difficult to get politicians to take actions that will be painful today in order to lower the risk of catastrophe for future generations. 

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