Is the EU ‘juking the stats’ of its carbon schemes?

(the Guardian)“We’re paying people to cut their forests down in the name of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and yet we are actually increasing them. No-one is apparently bothering to do any analysis about this,” one Brussels insider told EurActiv.

(the Guardian) The EU has earned a lot of credit on the international climate scene. It has pushed through a roadmap to a second Kyoto deal at the Durban climate change summit, and stood firm on tugging global airlines into a carbon-pricing scheme.

More than anything it has demonstrated its good faith with a pioneering set of decarbonisation targets at home: the “20-20-20” goals. By 2020, the EU has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20% of their 1990 level, and to increase the share of renewables to 20% of the energy mix. It also has a voluntary target to increase energy efficiency by 20% on 2005 levels, and an obligation to source 10% of its transport fuels from renewable energy sources by the same year.

The EU is a trendsetter in global climate policy, and has the world’s most ambitious climate goal: an 80-95% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050, measured against 1990 levels. Later this year, Brussels will announce new interim climate targets for 2030 and possibly 2040 as milestones along the way. The rest of the world will no doubt watch agog – or aghast, waiting for the plans to unravel.

But this is why any fears of a parallel with the run-in to the Eurozone meltdown need to be addressed now. Then, the EU’s book-keepers approved billions of euros of bad loans to countries such as Greece, which had dressed up their public finances to make it appear as though they were meeting criteria when they were not. Greek number-crunchers reportedly used a known loophole in the EU’s accounting system to “juke the stats”.

Read the full article in The Guardian.

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