Almost a year after the European Commission (EC) proposed an ambitious plan to fight climate change and promote renewable energy, the European Parliament overwhelmingly approved the detailed legislative package with changes that addressed some business complaints but raised the ire of environmentalists.
Passage of the Climate and Energy Package on Dec. 17 came just five days after intense negotiations between Parliamentary delegations and the Council of Ministers, which must still formally approve the plan, achieved a compromise.
Environmentalists also object to changes that will allow member states to "offset" emissions by financing green projects abroad under the UN's Clean Development Mechanism. Despite the fact that the legislation limits the reductions stemming from such credits to 50 percent of EU-wide reductions, environmentalists claim that the offsets will allow companies to avoid reducing emissions at home. The WWF was particularly scathing, maintaining the final agreement was "poisoned by the large amount of carbon credits allowed from non-European countries."