By: Arthur Nelson
Sweden, Germany and France are the only European countries pursuing environmental policies in line with promises made at the Paris climate conference, according to a new ranking study.
The UK is in fifth position in the table which assesses policy actions taken by EU states to meet Europe’s pledge of a 40% cut in carbon emissions by 2030.
Poland, the Czech Republic, Spain and Italy are judged to be propping up the league, due to their support for forestry and carbon accounting dodges that weaken the greenhouse gas reduction effort.
“EU politicians portraying themselves as climate leaders should put their money where their mouth is by closing loopholes in the EU’s key climate law and pushing for more ambition,” said Femke de Jong, the EU policy director for Carbon Market Watch, a campaign group that co-drafted the EU Climate Leadership Board survey.
The ranking was compiled using ministerial statements and official documents submitted to the European commission, and was then cross-checked with country representatives.
It focuses on behind-the-scenes lobby forays mounted by EU countries in negotiations over an “effort sharing regulation” to cover the 60% of European emissions that come from transport, buildings, agriculture and waste management.
These fall outside the bloc’s flagship Emissions Trading System (ETS) which allocates tradable pollution permits to heavy industry.
Several countries have tried to gain wiggle room in the talks by pushing for measures such as a later (and higher) baseline for measuring their CO2 cuts, or greater use of forestry credits to meet the EU’s climate goal.