EU Environment Ministers Hash Out Post-2012 Climate Plan

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EU Environment Ministers met this week for the first time under new Czech leadership. The goal - to formalize more of the post-2012 climate change actions, which are due to be finalized in December at Copenhagen. On the agenda, emissions goals, a carbon market and getting developing countries on-board. Environment Minister Martin Bursik gives the meeting two thumbs up, saying "we have reached 99% of what we wanted to."As for carbon emissions targets (mitigation), the group agrees to reduce emissions 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Developed countries must also make mid-term commitments and goals for emission reductions, and "developed" non-Annex I countries are encouraged to make goals that they are capable of meeting given their capacity. Developing countries are encouraged to make development plans that include low-carbon communities and lifestyles.

The group next proposes to build a "robust" cap and trade carbon market by, preferably, 2015. More-advanced developing countries will be encouraged to participate by 2020. To further encourage developing countries to participate, sector specific markets will be created so that developing nations can get involved where they can. On another note, the Council encouraged the members to look into the recycled and reused goods market, particularly the fall in demand, and see if there is a way to support this market.

The EU is the only community in the world with a binding 20% reduction target, and they plan to increase that to 30% once more groups get on board. The costs of implementing these reductions, especially among developing countries were considered. Ultimately the group felt that the current, weakened economy is actually a good "opportunity to modernize and shift our economy towards a more efficient and low-carbon one, bringing millions of new green jobs" said Bursik. :EU Environment Post-2012 Climate Change Agreement
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