Thursday, Oct 16, 2008
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened Thursday to torpedo the European Union’s climate change plans, branding them too big a burden for business amid the global financial crisis.
Berlusconi’s announcement, at an EU summit in Brussels, came despite pleas from fellow leaders not to abandon the targets in the face of growing financial pressure, although Poland also appeared ready to vote parts of it down.
“I have announced my intention to exercise my veto,” the Italian leader told a press conference on the sidelines of the summit.
“Our businesses are in absolutely no position at the moment to absorb the costs of the regulations that have been proposed,” he said.
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Last year, EU leaders vowed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels. They also pledged to have renewable energies make up 20 percent of all energy sources.
But many EU nations have begun to baulk at the costs involved and the consequences to industry of the climate change goals.
Poland, heavily dependent on coal-fired power, said it would resist attempts to railroad the targets through.