NGOs attack EU, US, environmental record

Annual transatlantic environmental dialogue criticises actions on power liberalisation, climate, trade

Uncontrolled liberalisation of electricity markets on both sides of the North Atlantic risks destroying attempts to combat global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to environmental groups from the United States and Europe. The criticism was made during last week's annual "Transatlantic Environmental Dialogue," a meeting between the groups which is also attended by senior EU and US government officials (ENDS Daily 4 May 1999).

"Environmental protection has not been treated as an integral aspect of liberalisation, resulting in serious consequences for climate change," the NGOs said in a statement after the meeting, echoing complaints made recently by clean energy technology industries (ENDS Daily 7 March).

The groups called on the EU to make national renewable energy generation targets announced last week legally binding and said the USA should also set a target of 10% renewable energy generation by 2010. Subsidies for nuclear and fossil energy sources should be phased out, they said.

On trade issues, the NGOs bitterly attacked both the EU and USA for their records on greening international commerce. "Neither...has satisfactorily implemented any of the initiatives the dialogue has put forward," they said, even though 50% of suggestions made by a similar "business dialogue" had been taken up. EU and US governments were even "proactively working against the environment" by "continually challenging" environmental initiatives within the World Trade Organisation.

Follow Up:
Transatlantic Environmental Dialogue, convened in Europe by the EEB, tel: +32 2 289 1090.

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