EU adopts 20% emissions cut

The European Union's executive adopted landmark proposals on fighting climate change, agencies reported on Wednesday, including plans to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by one-fifth by 2020.

The European Commission also approved a plan to split among EU states a target to produce 20% of all power from renewable sources by the same date.

But the plan drew criticism from environmentalists, who say the cuts are too small to stop global warming and claim the EU’s commitment to increasing the use of biofuels is a social and environmental threat.

"The EU climate plan is a disgrace," said Friends of the Earth director, Tony Juniper. "Europe wants to be a world leader in tackling global warming, but its carbon-reduction target is far weaker than the one agreed at last month’s UN climate summit in Bali. Scientists warn that a cut of at least 30% is required to prevent a climatic catastrophe."

"Warnings about the negative social, environmental and climate impact that this technology could have are getting louder," he added. "We must not rush ahead with biofuels until we can be sure that they don’t create more problems than they solve."

See full story