Final grade on the EU Commissions environmental policy

The Green10, 10 environmental NGOs that score the performance of the European Commission, gave the Barroso commission an average score of 4.4 out of 10 points. But more consistency of judgement is needed.

Interesting was the score that the EU commission received for climate and energy policies. Even though the report mentions that a 20% emissions reduction is „inconsistent with the EU objective“ of staying beneath an average global warming of 2°C, and even though it is not clear how to monitor the proposed increase in energy efficiency by 20% by 2020 (the famous 20/20/20 goal), the Green10 gave a score of 7/10 on the ECs climate policy.

For energy policy, the Green10 was less lenient, and gave the EC a score of 6/10. But whereas the 20% emissions target was critizised in the climate section, in the energy section the Green10 wrote: „The most remarkable achievement of this Commission was its binding 20% renewable energy target for 2020. Its adoption in EU law marks an important step for the development of clean energy.“

No wonder people are still confused. If in the same document, just one page apart, the same target is critisized and then praised, how shall people ever understand what our goal truly needs to be? That goal, of course, needs to be the decarbonization of our societies, as complete and fast as possible once we set our minds to it. And once we do that, such a Great Transformation is doable within decades. But if we keep sending out mixed messages, we will not reach that goal in time.

It is time to be courageous and speak in polite but clear terms. What is there to lose if we do so?

Maiken Winter

Source: BirdLife International

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