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Activists display banners claiming 'Coal is a climate killer' inside of the coal power plant. The power plant belongs to Electrabel, one of Europe's leading electricity producer. Electrabel produces unclean electricity with coal and nuclear energy and is uninterested in promoting clean energy such as solar and wind.

Europe

As one of the biggest global emitters of greenhouse gases, the European Union (EU) must lead the international efforts to stop climate change.

Upto now, the EU has shown vision on the issue of climate change; namelyby adopting its position to limit the mean temperature increase tobelow 2°C above pre-industrial levels and by consistently standingbehind the Kyoto Protocol in the face of attacks (led mainly by the US,Australia and the OPEC bloc of oil producing countries).

However,Greenpeace is concerned that the EU's commitment to combating climatechange is not central enough to its overall policies. The EU has notsufficiently supported renewable energy and energy efficiency, whichare the cheapest, safest, fastest, surest and most environmentally andsocially acceptable ways to achieve greenhouse emission reductions inthe energy sector. The EU has continued to waste huge sums of money insubsidies for both fossil fuels and nuclear power. On fluorinated gasesthat damage the climate, the EU has yet to demonstrate the politicalwill to replace them with climate-friendly alternatives.

TheEU has adopted a target under the Kyoto Protocol to decrease itsgreenhouse gas emissions by 8 percent compared to 1990 levels duringthe commitment period 2008-2012.

TheKyoto Protocol alone will not stop climate change, however. That's whythe EU is starting to discuss its post-2012 (post-Kyoto) climatestrategy. Greenpeace supports using the Kyoto Protocol as the buildingblock for the post-2012 framework and urges the EU to commit to thefollowing:

  • Tocontinue to be a climate change leader by showing its willingness andintent to press ahead with the second commitment period of Kyoto.
  • Toadopt legally binding greenhouse gas reduction targets that areconsistent with limiting temperature rise to below 2°C. This translatesinto targets of at least -15 percent by 2015 and at least -30 percentby 2020 (compared to 1990 levels).
  • To have a long-term vision to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions of 80 percent by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels).
  • Toensure that action in all policy areas (especially energy, transport,agriculture, chemicals and development) contributes to staying below2°C.

The EU Heads of State made a first step to the right direction in March 2005. Read our press release (pdf).

Whilespecial efforts must be concentrated on engaging Australia and theprincipal greenhouse gas emitter, the US, the EU should not wait forthese countries before setting its own targets for beyond 2012. It isvital that US inaction is not permitted to block the rest of the worldfrom moving forward.

Some policy recommendations to the EU are outlined below:

  • Theadoption of ambitious, legally binding long-term targets for renewableenergy sources and for the decrease of energy consumption,
  • Theremoval of market barriers which hinder the growth of clean energy,including putting an immediate end to subsidies for dirty energysources (fossil fuels and nuclear energy),
  • Thereform of national Export Credit Agencies (ECA) so that they givepriority to renewable energy development and energy efficiencyprogrammes. All energy sector financial support has to include targetsfor the uptake of renewable energy as a reliable, modern energy sourcefor on-grid, industrial and residential applications,
  • Arapid phase-out of the extremely potent "fluorinated" gases in allapplications (refrigeration, air conditioning, foams, etc).
More information:
Greenpeace European Unit website on climate and energy.
Exposing the EU’s dirty energy subsidies. (pdf report)

The latest updates

 

The Energy [R]evolution will pay off in savings and jobs

Blog entry by Sven Teske | 5 June, 2012 3 comments

The sums of money might be big, but they make economic sense. And before you shake your head, mind boggled by the amounts involved, consider this: spending just 1% of global GDP per year on renewable energy will avert catastrophic...

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Blog entry by Gary Cook | 23 May, 2012 4 comments

Apple has made a bold claim to make all three of its data centres “coal free” and has doubled the amount of solar energy powering its data centre in North Carolina. Apple’s customers certainly appreciate boldness, and will love the...

Out in the cold: why Shell's Arctic plans are a risky investment

Blog entry by Charlie Kronick, Greenpeace UK | 22 May, 2012

The past few weeks has been dubbed by many as the 'shareholder spring' . Chief executives of some of the world’s biggest companies – Aviva, Cairn Energy, RBS, and HSBC among others – have suffered as shareholders have expressed...

Apple responds to customers, starts down road to clean energy iCloud

Blog entry by Gary Cook | 18 May, 2012 1 comment

This week, after hundreds of thousands of Apple customers and Greenpeace supporters asked the company to use clean energy instead of dirty coal, it announced a significant investment in local renewable energy to power its data centre...

Broadcasting live! We’re reading your messages to Apple at their Headquarters

Blog entry by Brandy Palm | 15 May, 2012

Hi, My name is Brandy and I’m here in our “iPod” to send Apple your messages. We’re right in front of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, in an eight-foot tall, ten-foot wide pod broadcasting audio messages from people...

Broadcasting live! We’re reading your messages to Apple at their Headquarters

Blog entry by Brandy Palm | 15 May, 2012 1 comment

Hi, My name is Brandy and I’m here in our “iPod” to send Apple your messages. We’re right in front of Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, California, in an eight-foot tall, ten-foot wide pod broadcasting audio messages from people like...

Activists block Duke coal shipment, link mountaintop removal to iCloud

Blog entry by Gabe Wisniewski | 3 May, 2012 5 comments

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Apple: Think Different about your dirty energy

Blog entry by Kumi Naidoo | 25 April, 2012 15 comments

The Internet and social media are extraordinary engines of change helping to drive revolutions and positive social change. They’ve become central tools for how we bring pressure on polluters and governments. But if we are not careful,...

How Clean is your Cloud - Apple responds

Blog entry by Gary Cook | 17 April, 2012 16 comments

Our new report “ How Clean is Your Cloud ” is out today - to show that the massive increase in Internet use is mainly being powered by dirty energy. Apple, Amazon and Microsoft all score badly in the report for relying on dirty coal...

News from the Energy Revolution

Blog entry by Martin Lloyd | 13 April, 2012 5 comments

News that the UK could be set to import volcano power from Iceland has also focused some attention on the number of high voltage interconnectors being built across Europe. So now is a good time to revist a report Greenpeace put out...

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