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GERMANY, FRANCE, UK PRESS FOR TOUGHER EMISSIONS TARGETS AFTER PARIS DEAL

03/07/2016

Germany, France, and Britain pressed the European Union for more ambitious greenhouse gas targets at a meeting of environment ministers last Friday, clashing with the EU executive and several eastern and central European states. The big states led criticism of a draft text that said the bloc does not need to revise upward its targets until the next decade as it tries to decide how to share the burden of meeting those among its 28 member countries. So far, the EU has agreed to cut emissions by at least 40% by 1990 levels by 2030 and to a first global stock-take in 2023. Several ministers urged an earlier stock-take to get on track for net zero emissions in the second half of the century. Germany's Jochen Flasbarth called the European Commission text "weak on the 2030 objectives." In a split council, he was joined by ministers from Austria, Britain, France, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Sweden in calling for the EU to set an example with stronger targets. EU Climate and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete on Friday told the dissenting ministers they were "welcome to be more ambitious" but warned that not all member states were on board for new European targets. And Poland, whose economy relies on coal, and other former Soviet bloc states said the EU should not ramp up its climate goals too soon or ahead of other nations. For the full story, see http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climatechange-eu-idUSKCN0W61OE and http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/mar/04/germany-and-austria-call-for-higher-eu-2030-climate-ambition.