Global Warming: Those Evil Europeans

According to this Reuters article the Europeans are cranking out the GHGs (Green House Gases) at an alarming rate.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A cold winter and increased coal-burning power production raised carbon dioxide emissions in 15 EU states by 1.8 percent between 2002 and 2003, the EU environment agency said on Tuesday.

The European Environment Agency said an extra 59 million tonnes of CO2, which represents 80 percent of all EU emissions, were released into the atmosphere in the 15 EU states, measured before its expansion to 25 states in 2004.

The EU has agreed to cut total greenhouse gas emissions by 8.0 percent of their 1990 levels by 2012 to fight global warming as part of the Kyoto treaty.

Green group Friends of the Earth said the figures showed the bloc was far behind in meeting its target and emissions should have dropped by 5.2 percent in 2003 compared to 1990 for western Europe to be on track.

I find this rather funny considering how the Europeans love to lecture the U.S. on its responsibility in regards to global warming. However, I also wonder, what are the Europeans going to do? After all, they have to cut emissions and when it gets cold (or hot) people like to do things to keep warm (or cool). Maybe build more of those evil nuclear power plants or something, I guess.

“The new figures are shocking, as they indicate that Europe will most likely not meet its obligation to limit dangerous climate change,” said FOE Europe’s Jan Kowalzig in a statement.

“The blame goes mostly to national economy and industry ministers, who constantly block any attempts to introduce mandatory targets for renewable energies, energy efficiency rules or fuel consumption standards for cars,” he added.

I gotta say, the irony here is quite good. On the one hand we get all the handwringing and scolding over failing to sign onto Kyoto when the EU itself appears not to give a damn about Kyoto, CO2 emissions, and climate change (EU to Tuvalu: Piss off!).

It is even more amusing to see that one of the worst offenders is Ireland. Here is the Irish Examiner Op-Ed telling us how the U.S. should not ignore global warming. The hypocrisy here is just amazing.

Update: (19:54) Just wanted to add that what is also interesting is that it looks like the U.S. is the only honest country at the G-8 Summit. All the rest will make the breathless statements about climate change/global warming and that something must be done, when in fact none of these Euro clowns have any intention of following through on their rhetoric.

FILED UNDER: Climate Change, Environment, Science & Technology, , , ,
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Jack Ritchie says:

    The U.S. brags about “leadership”. Whatever Europe does, we should be doing what is right – taking firm steps to reduce global warming.

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    Even if those steps are useless like Kyoto?

  3. ATM says:

    And if global warming is real, but not human caused what should the US do?

  4. dutchmarbel says:

    From the article:

    CO2 emissions have risen by 3.4 percent since 1990 according to the EEA figures.

    From this gov. report:

    U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2003 were 13.4 percent higher than 1990 emissions

  5. Jem says:

    Two things. First, the Russians will probably meet their Kyoto “obligation”–because their production economy imploded and their decrepit infrastructure has succumbed to the extent that they couldn’t produce their 1990 emissions levels no matter how hard they tried. Second, it is almost certainly true that humans are affecting global warming…the question is how many digits you have to use past the decimal point to find the impact.

  6. Ron says:

    mandatory targets for renewable energies
    I’m sure they’ll have no trouble finding the extra money for this.

    And if global warming is real, but not human caused what should the US do?
    Well, I’m betting a large part of that answer is “accept it”

    Bjorn Lomborg’s detailed analysis in The Skeptical Environmentalist concludes that implementing Kyoto would delay warming by 6 years

    The Earth has gone through temperature cycles before, and I doubt we can stop it. The big question is probably what we can do to minimize the damage.

  7. Steve Verdon says:

    Nice Dutchmarbel, I can see that equivocation is now the response de jure. “Yeah, okay so we Euros are liars, but at least we emitt less GHGs than the U.S.!” Nice defense.

  8. dutchmarbel says:

    No Steve, it means that the actions may not help as much as hoped/planned for it does seem to make a difference.
    Liar is a big word to use in this context. Like shouting, namecalling is often used to hide lack of content. Are you sure you cannot make an argument on merits of your POV?