Thursday, January 23, 2014

Is Europe Tightening or Weakening Its Climate Policies?

That's the question raised by competing headings from The Guardian and The New York Times. 

Here's The Guardian's headine "EU to cut carbon emissions by 40% by 2030".

And here's how the New York Times characterizes the same story: "Europe, Facing Economic Pain, May Ease Climate Rules".

Obviously, the two headlines suggest very quite different perspectives on the climate policy decision taken by the European Commission (EC) this week. I haven't yet had a chance to take a look at the precise language of the EC Communication in which the policy decision was announced. When I do get the chance to read the entire document (as well as its regulatory impact analysis), I'll be able to adjudge whether The Guardian the NYT or both are right. It's entirely possible that the EU is tightening and weakening different elements of its climate rules at the same time. It's also possible that the EU is trying to generally weaken the rules while creating the impression that it's strengthening them.

Here's the actual EU press release. The complete EC Communication on climate and energy policy 2020-2030 can be read here.

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