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[greenyes] Kyoto in Europe
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.
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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.

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      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."

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       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.

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            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.

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