Climate-Alliance Germany

European Climate Policy

Background information on the EU climate package

In December 2008 the European Union passed a climate package that fell very short of expectations and requirements. The German government and particularly chancellor Merkel were involved in the process of watering down of the original standards. Central deficits of the package:

  • The member states only committed to reducing greenhouse gases in Europe by 20% by 2020.
  • Almost all the energy intensive industry was exempted from the auctioning of emissions rights
  • Due to intense pressure applied by Germany, electricity suppliers were granted investment support for new power stations. In doing so, huge climate killers are subsidised.
  • A regulation of the so-called Clean Development Mechanism that is too lax allows EU members to fulfil more than half of their reduction commitments abroad.
  • There is no legally binding commitment to use revenues from the emissions trading scheme for climate change mitigation and no binding financing of adaptation in developing countries.

Thus, the EU has given up its former role as a forerunner in climate change mitigation and contributed to the weak outcome of Copenhagen in 2009.