E.U. parliament to vote on climate proposals amid financial crisis
Members of the European Parliament’s environment committee on Tuesday will vote on key green initiatives proposed earlier this year, among them plans to alter the European Union’s emissions-trading system, ramp up spending on carbon capture and storage technology, and eventually ban construction of new coal-fired power plants. The proposals are all part of the E.U.’s plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, a crucial goal that the bloc sees as an important negotiating tool in international climate talks, giving the E.U. status as a world leader in cutting emissions. However, lately E.U. industries have been lobbying particularly hard to ease proposed requirements that businesses be forced to pay for most pollution permits after 2013, arguing the financial crisis is more pressing and immediate than the climate crisis and that tough emission rules could make doing business in the E.U. too expensive. But auctioning such permits remains popular as it would help curb emissions while bringing in about $40 billion a year for climate-change mitigation projects. The green measures will come up for a final vote by the end of the year.