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March 3, 2009 / Mridul

Europe Argues Over Funding Emission Reduction Projects in Poor Countries

The European Union is in a tussle over how the emission reduction goals be set under the next climate treaty, discussions for which are scheduled to talk place at Copenhagen in December this year.

Two ways put forward are

money raised through the auction of pollution permits in carbon markets around the world, or a mechanism whereby funds are levied according to a country’s economic strength, population growth and emissions.

Many EU nations like Poland are opposed to any strict emission reduction goals. Poland which has vast reserves of coal has made it clear that it would oppose decision which could hamper its efforts to tap its coal reserves.

“We’re against the subsidy plan, we’re open to talks, but the proposal will have to be changed if it’s to win our agreement”, said Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki. Poland also has protested a separate EU plan to tighten emissions-trading rules that would boost costs for coal-burning power generators.

Poland is unwilling to either buy emission rights or pay taxes for carbon emissions generated by its coal-powered energy plants.

EU has also put forward a plan wherein the Clean Development Mechanism is to be replaced by carbon tax which would be levied on the developed (and possibly ‘advanced’ developing nations) for exceeding emission limits set under the new climate treaty.

Developing countries like India and China are opposed to any mandatory emission cuts and want developed countries to adopt stricter emission reduction goals as they have a ‘historical responsibilty‘ to the state of the current state of the environment. 

The European Union is also eyeing the cap-and -trade scheme announced by President Obama

It would be interesting to see how the European Union assembles the financial resources to make the emission reductions globally effective.

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