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The Impact of EU Climate Change Policy on Economic Competitiveness

International Council for Capital Formation
November 29, 2003
By Margo Thorning


Notwithstanding the European Union’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the world’s second largest economy faces major challenges in meeting not only the Kyoto greenhouse gas (GHG) targets but also the more stringent emission reductions being debated for the post-Kyoto commitment period (after 2012). Data from the International Energy Agency (IEA) suggest that EU carbon emissions will continue to rise over the 2000-2030 period.

Even with strong new policies to reduce emissions, there are almost no changes from 1999 emissions levels, according to the IEA report. The cost for developed countries to meet the emission reduction goals of the Kyoto Protocol and the tighter targets that may be proposed for the second and subsequent commitment periods will be much higher than is generally understood. Policymakers need to have access to cost estimates based on appropriate climate policy models.

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