THE INDEPENDENT Emissions policy in disarray as Brussels rejects Blair's 'bungle' By Geoffrey Lean, Environment Correspondent 13 February 2005 Emissions policy in disarray as Brussels rejects Blair's 'bungle' Climate fears prompt energy U-turn in China Britain's plans for combating global warming have been rejected by the European Commission for being too lenient to industry, throwing them into disarray. The rejection - which comes just days before the Kyoto Protocol, tackling climate change, comes into force on Wednesday - is a personal humiliation for the Prime Minister, who insisted on watering down the plans in response to industry pressure. It further undermines his credibility as he seeks to use Britain's presidency of the European Union and the G8 group of wealthy countries to push the issue up the international agenda this year. The Secretary of State for the Environment, Margaret Beckett, will tomorrow announce that the Government has no alternative but to accept the EC's rebuff, and will outline measures to try to keep Britain's programme on track. "... "... "... "... '..." ---------------------------------------------------- WALL STREET JOURNAL February 9, 2005 WORLD NEWS Rice Seeks U.S.-Europe Thaw Top Diplomat Hopes to Renew Alliances in First Official Trip By NEIL KING JR. and MARC CHAMPION Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL February 9, 2005; Page A4 The Bush Administration is playing down its menacing talk of the war on terror, scrambling instead to create an upbeat foreign policy based on "shared opportunities" with Europe. "... "... "... "... "... French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, after meeting with Ms. Rice yesterday evening, repeated her calls for a renewed partnership, but said that being an ally didn't spell automatic allegiance. In a sign of looming differences, he said that combating global warming would be one of France's top priorities in the years ahead, referring to an issue that began the Franco-American rift under President Bush, long before Iraq. Mr. Barnier told the French daily newspaper Liberation before Ms. Rice's arrival in Paris that the U.S. and Europe "are facing the challenge of confidence." The Americans, he said, "need to trust the Europeans and accept Europe playing its full role in the international arena." -------------------------------------------------------------- WALL STREET JOURNAL February 9, 2005 EUROPEAN BUSINESS NEWS EU Takes Pollution Fight to Aircraft To Limit Greenhouse Gases, Emissions Caps Are Floated; Threat of Tax Irks Airlines By VICTORIA KNIGHT DOW JONES NEWSWIRES February 9, 2005; Page A9 BRUSSELS - The European Union's executive arm today is expected to propose reducing emissions from aircraft for the first time, possibly by ending their tax exemptions for fuel. The proposal is part of a raft of ideas Brussels is studying on how to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions beyond what is required in the Kyoto Protocol, which takes effect next week. Ending the fuel-tax exemption would be difficult, as countries around the world would have to agree to reverse a policy in place since 1944. The U.S. opposes airline-fuel taxes, and last year the International Civil Aviation Organization, a United Nations organization with 188 member states, agreed that no taxes or charges related to climate change could come into effect until after the organization's next assembly in 2007. The European Commission could try to tax fuel on flights within the EU, but that poses questions of enforcement and whether it breaks compliance with the 1944 agreement. The executive body also could apply other measures to flights within the EU, such as setting allocations on emissions or levying a carbon tax or other environmental charge. Britain, which takes over the EU's rotating presidency in July, is pushing these ideas. The proposals are part of Europe's drive to set the agenda on climate change following the Kyoto agreement, which takes effect Feb. 16 and sets targets for reducing emissions of the gases that cause global warming. The targets apply to the 30 industrialized nations that have signed the accord; the U.S., the world's largest polluter, didn't ratify the agreement. The EU's proposals for the airline sector are likely to reignite tensions with the U.S. and come on the day Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to meet in Brussels with the commission's president, José Manuel Barroso. Washington blocked the introduction of a fuel tax at last year's International Civil Aviation Organization meeting, and U.S. officials in Brussels said this week the U.S. position hasn't changed. Washington favors voluntary agreements instead of binding targets. The aviation sector was left out of the Kyoto agreement amid some governments' fears that adding environmental checks on planes -- or ships, another target of the EU plan -- would hurt global trade. As a result, countries can't use cuts in aviation emissions to count toward their obligations under the Kyoto accord, which requires participating countries by 2012 to bring their combined greenhouse-gas emissions to about 5% below their 1990 levels. "... "... Airplanes' emissions account for 4% of all greenhouse-gas emissions in the 15 EU members before last May 1. But environmental groups say planes flying at high altitudes cause more harmful air pollution than emissions from cars. What's more, they say, the growth in budget airlines is adding to the problem because of the increase in the number of flights. A commission paper estimates that if unchecked, airplanes' greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025 will become larger than those of all other polluters combined. "Pollution from planes should be tackled. Their global emissions are growing by around 5% a year," said Stephan Singer, head of climate change at the World Wildlife Fund, an environmental lobbying group. "... "..." _________________________ Peter Anderson, President RECYCLEWORLDS CONSULTING 4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15 Madison, WI 53705-4964 Ph: (608) 231-1100 Fax: (608) 233-0011 Cell: (608) 698-1314 eMail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.recycleworlds.net CONFIDENTIAL This message, and all attachments thereto, is covered by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., Sections 2510-2521. This message is CONFIDENTIAL. If you are not the intended recipient of this message, then any retention, dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. Please notify me if you received this message in error at email@example.com and then delete it.