The European Union (EU) is investing in solar and carbon capture. The European Union (EU) plans to aggressively cut Greenhouse Gases with new technology. The EU is investing $50 billion Euros into research and development of solar and carbon capture at coal plants. The EU is comprised of 27 members. It already has a carbon limiting cap and trade program but it is viewed as too expensive by business. Some EU countries have a carbon tax also.
Solar power is getting $23 billion Euros over the next decade in investment. Carbon capture is receiving $13 billion Euros over the same time. The hope is to have carbon capture installed on all new coal power plants built after 2020. The Smart City plan aims at urban efficiency. $11 billion Euros goes to buildings and transportation to reduce their carbon footprint.
$9 billion Euros will be invested in bio-energy to make electricity and fuels from organic waste and plants. Nuclear power receives $7 billion Euros to develop nuclear fission, improve reactor safety, create less radioactive waste and mitigate the damage nuclear plants may cause.
Europe still relies on 40% of its power supply from coal burning power plants. The investment in carbon capture is to catch up with the U.S. and Canada who are already investing billions of dollars in funding and other tax credits for carbon capture projects.
European Union changed its carbon trading program. The EU has the only functioning international carbon trading program in the world. The Kyoto Protocol called for treaty implementation once countries totaling 55% of the world’s carbon emissions. Ratified by Russia, a large carbon emitter, it joined the pact nearly 10 years ago after former President George W. Bush made it clear the U.S. would not join. When Russia joined the treaty took effect.
In the Great Recession the EU authorities see carbon trading as a way to raise government revenue. Meanwhile Climate Change bills in both U.S. and Australia are facing difficult passage. A new government in Japan wants to cut carbon emissions by 25% the most aggressive of any country in the world. Like the European cap and trade program, it faces stiff business opposition.
Carbon prices fell in Europe after it said it would not intervene as much as it has in the carbon market after 2012. The arrest of 7 people outside London for failure to pay the value added tax on carbon trades caused a furor over fraud in the program and government intervention.
In a move to make the program more appealing to business the EU recently proposed to give a way a large amount of carbon allowances to industries most vulnerable to international competition while still achieving carbon reductions. France and Germany are proposing a “border adjustment tax” on imports from countries without mandatory carbon reducing cap and trade programs.
The big fear in Europe is tariffs on imports from countries without binding cap and trade programs could start a major trade war. Obama shares the sentiment, but 10 Moderate Democrat Midwest coal producing state Senators are blocking a bill in the Senate without tariffs on imports from countries without mandatory carbon reducing cap and trade programs, fearing loss of more companies overseas to unregulated countries,