BRUSSELS: European Union (EU) states are deadlocked on a package of climate change targets for 2030 that they had hoped to agree at a summit next week, several sources involved in talks said Friday.
Negotiators are arguing over “who pays and how much” to meet the benchmarks, with poorer fossil-fuel dependent states at odds with richer northern nations in the 28-nation EU, one said.
Plans to cut greenhouse gases by 40 per cent, make renewables account for 27 per cent of energy use and set an energy savings target of 30 per cent appear in draft guidelines for the conclusions of the summit.
“The impasse is caused by the little rich ones, especially the Nordic countries, who claim to be very ambitious but who do not want to pay for sharing the burden,” another European negotiator said.
The climate targets are the main topic for the summit of EU leaders in Brussels next Thursday and Friday.
The EU had wanted to have an agreement on the targets, among the world’s toughest, in place ahead of a summit in Paris in 2015 at which a new UN-backed global treaty on climate change will be agreed. But the plans put a significant burden on new member states, such as Poland, which are still highly dependent on heavily polluting fossil fuels. These countries want compensation and billions of euros in financing in order to modernise their electricity production.
‘ALL DOWN TO MONEY’
In the wings, diplomats from the European Union’s member states have been holding extra meetings in a bid to thrash out deep differences over burden sharing, with no deal yet, negotiators from different states said on condition of anonymity.
“There are a lot of sticking points to get through before we reach a deal. It all comes down to the money,” a third source told AFP.
The plans were set out by the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, earlier this year.
The proposed 2030 targets would build on the current programme, which aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, with renewables and savings also set at 20 per cent. The situation has concerned UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who stressed the importance of the EU’s 40 greenhouse gases target ahead of the Paris summit when he met French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday.
But budget difficulties in most member states are putting a brake on ambitions, one negotiator said.
“At the end of the day, Germany will have to pay and pay a lot,” one European official said.
It is increasingly likely that the decision on burden sharing will be postponed to a later meeting to avert a summit failure, another negotiator said.