EU Summit To Focus On Industry Rather Than Climate

  • Date: 28/02/14
  • Barbara Lewis, Reuters

A European Union summit in March billed as a step in the bloc’s efforts to combat climate change will focus on strengthening Europe’s industrial base, a draft document seen by Reuters shows. The draft is likely to increase worries among the environmental lobby, which fears its argument that green jobs are the best way to shore up Europe’s fragile economy is being ignored.

The summit “will seek ways to enhance the European industrial base as a driver for economic growth and jobs,” the document says, and adds that concerns about EU industrial competitiveness should be woven into debate on all policy, including climate.

“The regulatory framework both at European and national levels must be made more conducive towards investment and innovation and the reshoring of manufacturing jobs,” the document adds, referring to a drive to reverse a trend of losing employment to other regions of the world.

The summit, planned for March 20-21, will also hold “a first policy debate on the framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030 and agree on the way forward in terms of orientations and procedure”.

It says the aim is to get an early agreement on the European Union’s position on a carbon-cutting goal for 2030, so that it will be ready for U.N. negotiations on a global climate framework that are meant to be concluded in Paris next year.

EU diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, however, have said they do not expect agreement before June at the earliest. Poland and other east European countries with heavy reliance on carbon-intensive coal are seeking concessions.

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