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EU plans 'industrial revolution'

By Iamseven     Jan 10, 2007 in Environment
The European Commission has unveiled a new energy strategy, calling on member states to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 20% by 2020.
The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, said that there has to be a unified European response to climate change.
Making his claims even more urgent was the recent problems over oil between Russia and Belarus which affected Germany and Poland, both of which are European Union member states.
The plan involves more investment in renewable energy sources, as old sources for fuel hurt the environment and play a role in poltiics.
"We need new policies to face a new reality - policies which maintain Europe's competitiveness, protect our environment and make our energy supplies more secure," said Mr Barroso.
"Europe must lead the world into a new, or maybe one should say, post-industrial revolution, the development of a low-carbon economy."
Despite the commision's noble plans to reduce greenhouse gases by at least 20% (they are aiming for 30) in the next 13 years, the plan has its critics.
A group known as Friends of the Earth called the policy "completely inadequte" and said it "failed to provide the low-carbon blueprint that is urgently required".
"If the EU is serious about tackling climate change it must make far greater cuts in its carbon dioxide emissions. The proposed 20% cut does not demonstrate any intention to stay below the two degree limit," Catherine Pearce, the group's international climate co-ordinator, said.
This energy policy has three central pillars: a true internal energy market, accelerating the shift to low-carbon energy, and energy efficiency through the 20% target by 2020.
The energy chief of the European Union, Andris Piebalgs, stated that 20% of the EU's energy should come for renewable energy sources by 2020 as well and 10% of vehicle fuel should come from biofuels.
The plan is nothing more than a blueprint as of now, however. It must be approved by European governments first.
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