E.U. Threatens U.S., China With Sanction Over Carbon Emissions
European leaders agreed last year to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent by 2020, using 1990 levels as a basis. The European Union wants to see similar commitments come out of other countries by next year’s global warming conferencing in Denmark or else they will see the lack of action as unfair competition.
A declaration from the 27 European Union leaders issued after a summit earlier this month read, “If international negotiations fail, appropriate measures can be taken” to protect European industry, according to the Associated Press.
“Industry, faced with global competition could be exposed to a real disadvantage if no international climate accord is struck, but we in Europe have very strict rules,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted as saying.
Not all in the European Union fully backed the sanction threat. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said such threats could make it harder to get other countries on board with emission goals, and Germany reportedly would like the heaviest polluting industries, such as steel and cement, exempt from the ambitious carbon cuts.
European leaders also discussed security issues surrounding of climate change, including loss of arable land, water and food shortages, heightened flooding and droughts, scarcer energy, humanitarian crises, border disputes and migration caused by environmental factors, the Associated Press reported.