With a new Green Paper, the European Commission has started a debate on the use of market-based instruments such as eco-taxes to reach its climate change and energy security targets. One of the objectives is to convince EU member states to shift taxation burdens from labour unto the environment and energy. But as taxation decisions have to be taken by unanimity, it is questionable whether this Green Paper will ultimately lead to any real EU-wide action.
Are all actions to mitigate climate change also useful to secure a country’s energy supply? Or could energy supply policies lead to more greenhouse gas emissions? There is a political reluctance to discuss these issues as the myth is created that climate change policies will automatically also be good for energy security and vice-versa. A new report by the Paris-based International Energy Agency takes a critical look at the interactions between both new priority policies.
Improving the energy-efficiency of buildings is one of the most-effective ways of tackling global warming and secure energy supply. The UN’s Environment Programme has an impressive new report with concrete policy recommendations.Author : Willy De Backer