European Parliament approves climate change package

December 17th, 2008 - 11:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Strasbourg, Dec 17 (DPA) The European Parliament Wednesday endorsed an ambitious climate and energy package designed to reduce the European Union’s (EU) greenhouse gas emissions and boost its use of renewable sources of energy.The package, approved by the EU’s 27 leaders after lengthy discussions at a summit in Brussels Friday, received the overwhelming support of European lawmakers, with both socialist and conservative groups voting in its favour in Strasbourg.

The package introduces a series of legally-binding measures designed to reduce emissions to 20 percent below their 1990s levels by 2020.

It also includes provisions for making the EU produce 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind power by 2020. Each member state is given a national target based on its relative wealth.

The package places the EU in a leading position in the fight against global warming ahead of UN talks due to take place in Copenhagen next year.

But a series of concessions granted to industry and to the EU’s poorer member states by the French presidency of the bloc has sparked strong criticisms from environmentalists.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the deal in Brussels, has defended the compromise.

“We didn’t want to impose constrictions which no country in the world could have survived socially,” he told the European Parliament ahead of Wednesday’s vote.

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