Politics

Eastern European countries are trying to block the EU’s efforts to meet goals laid out in the Paris Climate Agreement

According to documents seen by Climate Home, Eastern European countries are attempting to block the EU’s efforts to meet goals laid out in the Paris climate agreement.

Under the climate accord, Europe promised to shave 40% off its emissions by 2030, mostly by revising existing climate laws on renewables, energy efficiency and its flagship Emissions Trading System (ETS).

But documents seen by Climate Home show that Visegrad countries are trying to gut, block or water down all of these efforts, in a rearguard manoeuvre that mirrors president Donald Trump’s rollback of climate policy in Washington.

Energy efficiency is supposed to make up around half of Europe’s emissions reductions by 2030, but a Czech proposal could cut energy saving obligations from a headline 1.5% a year figure to just 0.35% in practice.

Below the radar, Poland has also launched a manoeuvre that may block the EU’s winter package in its entirety – particularly a planned limit on power plant emissions – if it is signed up to by a third of EU parliaments, or 10-13 states.

Claude Turmes, the European parliament’s lead negotiator on climate governance has done all she can to speak out against the revolt.

We cannot allow backward-looking east EU states to destroy the EU’s credibility on the Paris agreement,” 

“A successful and ambitious energy transition is one of the few remaining positive stories for Europe. If we allow that to be drained by vested old interests from east Europe, our international credibility – and the last remaining trust of our citizens – will be smashed,” said Turmes.

This is just more proof that this Paris agreement is a mess. The agreement cripples economies of many of the countries involved and has no way of enforcing any of the goals it lays out.

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