The European Union (EU) has dialed back its climate change targets due to a stagnant economy. High energy costs and declining industrial competitiveness were contributing factors to lower expectations.
The rhetoric of course, was still flying when the EU proposed doubling its cut in carbon emissions by 40 percent, rather than the previous 20 percent, by 2020. As reported earlier on politisite, Germany actually increased its carbon emissions since the closure of nuclear plants, due to the requirement to burn dirty coal to provide needed electricity.
While Germans like the targets for green energy conversion (Energiewedende), they’re not too thrilled with its side effects. The problem is that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind in unreliable. While on some days solar and wind power are able to power all the needs of the German economy, on others barely any green power is being produced. To make up for this lack of power, Germany is using coal producing energy.
EU officials stated that the commitment was still there to reduce energy, however, environmental groups described the proposals as totally inadequate.
Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, described the proposals as “totally inadequate” and “off the radar of what climate science tells us to do in Europe to avoid climate catastrophe.”
The European experience only demonstrates that renewable energy should be part of the all above mix, but should be implemented smartly, without economic damage. Will this affect decisions made by the EPA and the Obama Administration? Probably not.