Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Old" and "New" Europe Divided Over Greenhouse Gas Cuts

Yesterday, an Associated Press article in the Seattle Times reported that countries representing "old" and "new" Europe are at odds over European Union (EU) deadlines for laws that would cut greenhouse gas emissions. Most governments within the EU want to proceed with a December timetable for legislation mandating a 20 percent reduction in emissions by 2020, because they contend "that will send a strong signal to the U.S., China and other big industrial states to embrace a new global deal on reducing emissions after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012."

Eight former Soviet bloc countries--Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia--feel that the EU's proposed timetable would have a far greater economic impact on them than it would on western European countries, which would not have to "play catch-up to compensate for decades of ruinous communist economic policies," the article states. Eastern European cities still must deal with environmental obstacles such as communist-era rubber-dye factories, pollutant-emitting lead smelters, and inefficient power plants as well as impoverished citizens for whom climate change is a low priority.

To find primary EU resources about global warming targets, see the websites for the European Environment Agency and the European Parliament. If you're still not finding the information you need, check out our guides to European Union Resources and Climate Change.

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