by Janet Ritz
The EU just finished their two day 20/20 (20% change to green power by 2020) climate meeting today:
Seizing the initiative on global warming, European Union leaders agreed Friday to fight climate change with more windmills, solar panels and efficient light bulbs, pledging that a fifth of the bloc's energy will come from green power by 2020.
Challenging the world to follow suit, the twenty-seven member European Union's president, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, said that this needs to be done, even if it requires a change in lifestyle.
A change in lifestyle either way, since climate change will be (and is) forcing a change in lifestyle for everyone.
The EU's plan? 20% green power by 2020. They say they can reach 30% if other nations join them (hint: China, India, US...).
Not that the agreement was easy to come by. There were bumps in the road vis-a-vis nuclear energy. The EU nations finally reached their consensus after giving in to France's request for the inclusion of nuclear energy as an alternative to coal and greenhouse producing power plants.
European leaders said the agreement, the first to go beyond the 35-nation Kyoto Protocol in its targets for greenhouse gas emissions cuts, marked a turning point in the fight against global warming.
British Prime Minister Tony Blair agreed: "It gives Europe a clear leadership position on this crucial issue facing the world."
So, it's not perfect, it may be too little too late, but at least the EU has taken the lead. We can't count on the US following suit before 2008, even with kudos to the new congress for trying (and they are).
However, that shouldn't keep from doing what we can. As I wrote in this earlier diary about the UN's Climate Change Road Map, there are resources available for all of us to make a difference (links at bottom of linked diary).
We all need to be ambitious now.