EU's Plans to Cut Carbon Have Some Worried About Competitiveness

The European Union has announced plans to make a significant cutback in its carbon emissions. Some say the plans are too ambitious and will hurt the Union's growth and competitiveness, but others argue they don't go far enough.

"A clump of legislative proposals and directives provided for steep increases in wind and solar power, improved energy efficiency, and higher costs for polluters to meet a challenge outlined last year and dubbed 'triple 20.'"

"The aim is to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 20 percent, boost renewable energy to 20 percent of supply, and improve energy efficiency by 20 percent – all by 2020."

"The broader aspiration is to show the world that jobs and growth are not dependent on carbon. The challenge to the likes of China, India, and the United States is to join the effort, in which case the EU would raise its emissions-reduction target to 30 percent by 2020."

"But there was skepticism and disappointment in equal measure. Industrial leaders warned that slapping a high cost on carbon would make Europe less competitive compared with countries that do not face such constraints. Green advocates expressed disappointment that the measures did not go far enough, particularly in light of commitments made at global talks in Bali last month."

Full Story: Can Europe cut carbon without cutting growth?

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