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Monday, December 09, 2002

European Union environment ministers have unanimously agreed to set-up a market to trade pollution permits for carbon dioxide (CO2) a gas believed by many scientists to be the chief human contributor to global warming.

Once approved by the European Parliament, the scheme will cap the amount of CO2 that key industries can produce and will allow companies to buy and sell emission rights within the 15-nation bloc.

The pollution market's aim is to cut greenhouse gas levels as agreed last year under the UN's Kyoto Protocol.

Under the Kyoto agreement, the EU must cut emissions of CO2 and five other gases between 2008 and 2012 to 8% below their 1990 levels...

In 2001 a Royal Commission in the UK urged a 60% cut over the next half century in the UK's emissions of CO2, said that credible scenarios for 2050 can deliver a 60% cut in CO2 emissions, but large changes would be needed both in the energy system and in society and improving domestic consumers' energy efficiency by 20% by 2010, and by a further 20% over the next decade.